This quick and easy dhal recipe is a nourishing meat free meal. I personally try to have regular meat free meals and this dhal is nutritious and filling. It’s also great for a last minute meal as I always have the ingredients in the pantry. It’s my backstop when I forget to take meat from the freezer or if the day escapes me. Serve it with rice or quinoa and a big leafy salad, or some steamed vegetables and you have a perfectly balanced meal.
What’s so good about it?
The red lentils are full of fibre, many beneficial plant nutrients and offer a vegetarian form of protein, the almond meal completes it (as does serving it with rice or quinoa). The garlic, ginger and various spices are great digestives, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune boosting. The coconut milk is wonderful for your immune system, read more about it here.
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced or crushed
2-3cm piece ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 large carrot, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, whole
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
350gram tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 can of diced tomatoes
200grams (1 cup) of red lentils
400gram tin coconut milk or cream (the cream gives a richer, creamier consistency)
350grams water (1 ½ cups), chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons almond meal
Dried chilli to taste
Sea salt, a good pinch (or more to taste)
Black pepper to taste
1 lime, juice and zest to finish
Bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
I have a curry leaf tree and also add 5-6 leaves
Choose coconut oil and coconut milk.
Serve over a baked potato or sweet potato, cauliflower rice or quinoa.
Just leave the almond meal out.
Turn it into a soup
Add a little extra stock and blend to make a delicious Indian red lentil soup.
Make it meaty
You can use this as a curry base (sauce) and add any meat you like to this.
Make it go further
Add in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
You can also add extra vegetables. Pumpkin, sweet potato, peas, chopped celery, beans, cauliflower, and broccoli would work well. I also love a couple of handfuls of baby spinach added at the very end.
Mineral and metabolism boost
Add a teaspoon of dulse flakes
A little natural yogurt or coconut cream on top of the dhal also often helps little ones adjust to the spiciness. This recipe freezes really well (the flavour actually improves with time).
Do you like a good dhal? This is based on a traditional dhal I learned to make in India. The Thermomix dhal is quite similar and you can follow that method, with my version for a great result.
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The pretty leaves on the left are actually curry leaves. I have this amazing tree growing in my garden and the leaves add another dimension of flavour to my Indian creations.