The Red Lentil and Spinach Dal

Indian cuisine is my new cooking thing. It’s flavourful, colourful and also very healthy. It’s full of vegetables, spices and herbs (cumin powder, coriander powder, ginger powder, black mustard seeds, red chilli powder and turmeric powder among others), it’s high in fibre and low in saturated fat.

This is my very first Dal, I actually combined 2 recipes as I didn’t have any coconut milk – which most recipes require. On the other hand, I had 2 small sweet potatoes and some spinach that needed to be cooked urgently so I integrated them. The outcome? As good and tasty as your favourite Indian take-away. It demands very little effort, time and money!

If you’re a vegetarian and need your intake of protein, don’t forget to combine it with cereals/grains (quinoa or whole rice for example).

This recipe serves 4 (or two big eaters).

Ingredients

  • Red or Corail lentils, 300 gr
  • Sweet potato, 1 big or 2 small
  • Spinach, 150 gr
  • Garlic, 2 cloves crushed
  • Shallots, 2 (if you don’t have any, onions are also fine)
  • Sweet pepper (red or green), 1 long
  • Cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground Coriander,
  • Curry powder, 1 1/2 teasopoon
  • Turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ginger (fresh), 2 cm minced
  • Curry paste, 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh coriander (for garnish)

Procedure

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add all the spices and stir for about 1 minute. Then, add the shallots, garlic, ginger, sweet pepper chopped and curry paste. Cook for about 3 minutes, continuously stirring. By now it should start to smell really good.

Dice the sweet potato and rinse the lentils. Add them the skillet with about 750ml of water, cover and bring to a boil for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. Add water if necessary.

To finish, add the spinach and stir until they’re cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste, top with some fresh coriander and serve! Nom nom nom …


 

The health benefits of Red Lentils

redLentils contain the highest amount of protein originating from any plant. They are a good source of dietary fiber and have a low amount of calories. Other nutritious components found are molybdenum, folate, tryptophan, manganese, iron, phosphorous, copper, vitamin B1, and potassium.

Lentils also have impressive health benefits:

  • Improve muscle generation
  • Control diabetes and lower blood pressure
  • Improve digestion
  • Promote heart health
  • Boost metabolism
  • Prevent atherosclerosis
  • Reduce risk of cancer
  • Help in optimal brain functioning

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