Dhal is such a hearty, warming and nourishing meal and is something I always crave during the winter. I thought I would share it with you all because even though we're nearly past winter, the temperature certainly doesn't suggest so! Lentils are a fantastic vegetarian source of protein, an excellent source of fibre, slow releasing carbohydrates and also provide iron, phosphorus and zinc. If you experience flatulence, bloating or stomach pains from legumes I highly recommend you see a practitioner for some gut health support as this should not be the norm!. Lentils don’t require soaking however you can if you want to reduce their cooking time. Serve with some brown rice, steamed vegetables and a dollop of yoghurt for a fully balanced meal.
Serves 3 as a main meal or 4 with rice and steamed vegetables.
1 cup red lentils
1 bay leaf
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 red chilli, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin (or for total flavour punch toast & grind 1 ½ teaspoon cumin seeds)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoons garam masala
½ teaspoon ground coriander
6 curry leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cups spinach leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
To serve: fresh coriander, yoghurt, chilli flakes
Rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan with the bay leaf and 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes, skimming of any scum that rises to the top.
Meanwhile heat some coconut oil in a fry pan and add the onion until really starting to brown. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cumin, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, curry leaves, salt and tomatoes and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Add the lentil mixture to the fry pan and scrape off all the flavour from the bottom of the pan, then transfer back to the original saucepan.
Cook for a further 10 minutes, adding more water if it becomes too thick. In the final minute, stir through the spinach and the lemon juice.
Serve with fresh coriander, a dollop of yoghurt and chilli flakes if you like it hot.