This is a nice, comforting weekday recipe and is great value too. It freezes well to give you a stash of ready meals.
Indian lentil dhal
See “larder & shopping” section for unusual ingredients
1 rounded dsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 pint boiling water (or water leftover from steaming vegetables)
1 tsp Dr Coy’s Vegetable Bouillon (for SC Diet). Otherwise Kallo low salt veg stock cube (optional) or 1level tsp Vecon vegetable bouillon
28g creamed coconut, grated or chopped up – or 2 tbs thick tinned full fat coconut milk
1 level tsp (teaspoon) turmeric
1 rounded tsp garam masala (from Asian shops or make your own by grinding 25 g each of cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns in a coffee grinder or mini food processor to a fine powder)
225g/1 cup/230ml red lentils
Optional: a handful of fresh (rinsed and destalked) coriander leaves to garnish
- Put onions, oil, 1 tsp water into a saucepan, cover and sweat 5 mins until onions are softened.
- Add spices, garlic, cook 2 mins. Add a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture is dry.
- Stir in the lentils, cook 1 min, add the boiling water. NB Don’t add stock cube or salt-containing vegetable bouillon before lentils are cooked or they will toughen and take forever.
- Bring to the boil, cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 mins or until soft.
- Meanwhile dissolve the veg stock cube or bouillon if using in a little boiling water. Stir the chopped/grated coconut or thick coconut milk and the dissolved stock cube (if using) into the cooked lentils until dissolved. The mixture should be soft but not sloppy.
- Season to taste, adding more water if you want the mix thinner.
- Scatter over the coriander leaves if using
At least 1/2 a plateful steamed greens and other vegetables per person (e.g. shredded cabbage, broccoli florets, mange tout peas, sugar snaps, green beans and cauliflower, sliced carrots or sliced/diced turnips) and optionally (if you’re NOT on SC Diet) a little brown rice
Why this recipe is good for you:
Spices and herbs lower inflammation and delay the onset of wrinkles! Soluble fibre in lentils and beans feeds good gut bacteria needed for a healthy immune system, good digestive and bowel function and hormonal balance. This type of fibre lowers cholesterol, and helps eliminate used hormones and toxins by sticking to them in the gut, carrying them safely out through the bowels. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that go to help energy production rather then being stored in your body as fat. These medium chain triglycerides are also helpful for brain function, especially for anyone experiencing age-related memory decline. Lentils and brown rice are also rich in B vitamins needed for energy production, libido, stress control and mood. Deficiency of B vitamins is common if you are stressed or regularly eat refined foods, stimulants or drink excess alcohol.