Firstly, a bit about lentils. They are often thought of as a hippy veggo food…and rightly so as they provide a brilliant source of protein for a meat free meal, containing more than any other plant derived food source.
But lentils also contain B-complex vitamins, iron, potassium and other minerals. They provide fibre, including a soluble fibre that is important in controlling blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that people who eat more legumes (including lentils, chickpeas, beans, etc) have a lower risk of heart disease.
The best thing about lentils is that they don’t need soaking like a lot of other legumes. This recipe takes around 30 minutes, which may seem like a long time when you’re hungry, but the prep only takes 10 and then you can leave it to bubble away, filling the house with gorgeous smells and setting your tummy rumbling!
The main drawback with lentils is – ahem – flatulence!
A couple of tips for reducing this unsocial side effect is to rinse your lentils well before cooking, and look for lentil recipes that include fennel, caraway or khombu (sea vegetable) as these can help ‘balance’ the gassy effect.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (alternatively olive oil)
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 4 cups water or vegetable stock (we use plain water and it tastes wonderful)
- 1 cup dried red lentils, well rinsed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp tumeric
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir often, until the onions are translucent. Add in the spices and stir around for about a minute, enjoying the wonderful smells!
Stirring constantly, add the water (or stock), lentils, and salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender.
Once the lentils are tender stir in the tomato paste until well combined. Cook for a couple more minutes, or until the soup is desired consistency, adding more water to the dahl if needed.
Serve with brown rice and a dollop of fresh natural yoghurt. Yummo!
If you have leftovers, it reheats nicely and you can also spread it into wraps or spoon onto salads.
Looking for dessert? Try our delicious Chocolate Covered Kiwi Fruit recipe!