Lentils are one of those somewhat difficult foods right up there with avocados and mangoes. One minute they are almost just perfectly cooked and the next moment they have been reduced to gloopy mush. Patience and timing are what you need to cook perfect lentils two things that I must admit are not my strong points in life. However with a watchful eye this really is an amazingly easy and tasty dish. The simple blend of spices will make your kitchen smell as wonderful as this tastes. Even if like me you don’t possess much patience in spades and your lentils do over cook all is not lost as Dahl is a rather forgiving dish and yours will just have a bit more of a soupy texture but will still taste amazing none the less ( and I won’t tell if you don’t !).I have to say that this Dahl is quite light on the chili front as I have quite a low tolerance of spice that would horrify any chili fiend. So definitely feel free to view the recipe below as just a template and spice it up or down to your liking though I don’t think a anyone will find it too hot!
Lentils are a wonderful food that are low in calories but high in nutrition. Firstly lentils release their energy slowly due to their high fibre content which stabilises blood sugar levels which ensures that you don’t get a quick blood sugar spike and sudden drop thereby keeping you going for longer. In addition this high level of soluble fibre also plays a role in reducing cholesterol levels which lowers the risk of developing heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of protein with one of the highest levels of protein of all legumes and nuts; over a quarter of the calories in lentils are attributed to protein. It is this combination of high protein and fibre as well as low calories that make lentils a wonderful option for those looking to lose weight.
- 1 large onion
- 1 tsp finely minced garlic
- 1 tsp finely chopped red chili
- ½ tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 + ¼ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp cumin seed
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 cup red lentils
- 4 + ½ cup vegetable stock (I used Marigold reduced salt vegetable bouillon)
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- Begin by sautéing the onion, ginger, garlic and chili in some coconut oil over a medium heat for about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the cumin seed and sauté for about 30 seconds and season
- Add the remaining spices, lentils, bay leaf and vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil for about 5 minutes.
- Now reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes (I promise no mushy lentils here!).
- Add in the spinach and heat gently for 2-3 minutes or until the spinach has softened.
- Take off the heat and remove the bay leaf.
- Serve over some brown basmati rice, garnish with coriander and enjoy!
This is not very hot so feel free to add more chili depending on your taste.