This is so simple and delicious it would be a crime not to share it, especially while a frosty chill seems to be hanging stubbornly in the nearly-springtime air. Dahl is my go to recipe for evenings when there is almost nothing in the kitchen, the shops seem too far away, and my wildly escalating ingredient budget is all used up. And the often overlooked wonder of the Indian staple lies not only its supreme ease and value but also in its dense nutrient content. Red lentils are a reliable corner shop source of plant-based protein, with one cup providing, 90% of our daily folate needs (vital for almost all the systems in the body, especially red blood cell production, brain and nervous system function and cardiovascular health) and an astounding 330% of our daily molybdenum needs. This lesser known mineral is essential for enzyme function and can also provide protection against inflammation and autoimmune disease.
Turmeric’s bright yellow compound curcumin gives us further anti-inflammatory action, and if you don’t mind the taste you can easily add another teaspoon. Red lentils are also a very well balanced source of both soluble and insoluble plant fibre, aiding both efficient elimination of toxins and blood sugar regulation. Parsley further helps purify our systems by supporting the liver’s detoxification pathways. I use kale as a leafy accompaniment here as there is always some lurking in my fridge, but any fibrous greens will work just as well. Nutty short grain brown rice perfectly marries them both together.
2 cups red lentils
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely sliced
1 can chopped tomatoes (I use Biona for minimal BPA)
1 can coconut milk (Also Biona)
500ml vegetable stock
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 cup kale, chopped
A bunch of parsley to garnish
Sea salt and pepper to season
Start by boiling your rice in a pan on a medium heat until soft but still al dente. It should take about the time the dahl makes.
Once it is done, drain and set aside while you prepare the dahl: in a medium sized saucepan, bring your vegetable stock to the boil and then add the lentils. Simmer on a low heat for twenty minutes, stirring regularly. While this is happening, lightly fry your onion and garlic in the coconut oil for one minute so they begin to soften. Then add the spices and continue to fry for one more minute until they are nice and golden, then remove from the heat, and add to the lentils along wit the coconut milk and tomatoes.
Stir regularly and add more water if you like a thinner consistency. When the lentils are all soft but not quite completely dissolved, you can remove it from the heat. Lightly steam the kale just before serving.
Sustainable hand-painted tiffin tin, mango chopping board and mango spoon all from www.Nkuku.com