Eating for Beauty: Cheater’s Dahl (Indian-Style Lentils)

Thursday, October 23, 2014
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dahl (6 of 7)

Years ago, our friend Todd taught my husband and I how to make dahl, an Indian dish made with lentils and aromatic spices. His recipe calls for dried lentils and is prepared a lot like risotto. After adding the spices and lentils, you gradually add water and stir frequently until the lentils are soft and the desired consistency is achieved. It’s time consuming, but so amazingly delicious. I’ve adapted Todd’s version of dahl to suit my busy/lazy/last minute sort of lifestyle using pre-cooked lentils. It’s an Indian cooking “hack” that is super easy, healthy, and every bit as tasty!

Get the recipe after the jump.

Cheater’s Dahl – Indian-Style Lentils

dahl (1 of 7)

1 T olive oil
1 t mustard seed
½ t fennel
1” chunk of ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
½ t onion powder
2 ½ T cumin
1 package Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils
½ t salt
1 cup of water

dahl (2 of 7)

1. Finely mince your ginger with a good chef’s knife and peel your garlic. You can mince the cloves as well but I just use a garlic press.

dahl (4 of 7)

2. Heat olive oil in a large simmer pot. Toss in the mustard seeds.

3. When your mustard seeds start popping, add your garlic and ginger. Stir a minute then add the onion powder and cumin.
Note: The original recipe calls for one chopped onion. My husband can’t eat onions, so I substitute onion powder. If you prefer to use a real onion (and you should) you can add it with the garlic and ginger. Stir fry it until your onions soften before adding your garlic, ginger, and other spices. You may need a little more olive oil.

dahl (5 of 7)

4. Add lentils and salt. Cover with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, lid ajar, about 30 minutes or until soft. If you prefer a soupier dahl, add more water and simmer a bit longer.

dahl (7 of 7)

Serve over brown basmati or other long grain brown rice and dig in!

Nutrional Information:

Lentils are low in calories and high in fiber. The fiber content is terrific for lowering cholesterol, improving heart and digestive health, and stabilizing blood sugar. This nutritious legume is also high in protein, which helps feel satisfied longer and provides sustained energy.

Garlic contains flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients that offer many health benefits including keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control and protecting the lining of blood vessels.

Ginger is an herb used as a spice and a medicine used to treat stomach ailments like nausea, diarrhea, and gas. Flavonoid-rich fennel and iron-packed cumin are also known to promote healthy digestion. In combination, the spices in this dish counteract the potential bloating and side effects of a high fiber food like lentils.

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