Thursday, December 13, 2012

Red Lentil and Spinach Dal

It is pretty hard to believe that it has taken me over a year to post a recipe with lentils in it. I suppose it is because I eat a lentil salad almost every day, I don’t feel it is worthy of blogging - to me they are just a fact of life. However, today’s recipe is truly worth sharing. Last night I came home from work in the mood for Indian food, about 45 minutes later I was sitting down to a beautiful and delicious meal.

Out of the three most common types of lentils (Green, French, and Red) found in the standard American grocery store, red lentils have the highest antioxidant count, making it the healthiest of the three and king of the beans. On top of that, these little red legumes cook much fast than the other types making it perfect for throwing together a quick meal after work. Besides having the incredibly healthy benefits of a meal of greens and beans, the spice combination in this recipe delivers powerful anti-inflammation properties as well as boosting the overall antioxidant count, making this meal a real powerhouse! Finally, just to prove that healthy cooking isn’t difficult, this recipe only uses one large pot, so clean up is a breeze!

Makes 3-4 servings:

4 cups water or vegetable broth
2 cups red lentils
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup kale, chopped
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chiffonade
1/2 red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 inch piece of peeled garlic, diced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masla
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper*

Under the faucet, rinse the lentils well under warm water until the water runs clean. This is important to do because it not only cleans the lentils of any debris, but also will help to increase the nutritional absorption while cutting down on the amount of gas they may cause. 

After the lentils are thoroughly rinsed, transfer them into a large pot with the water and bring to a boil. Let the lentils boil for about 25 minutes. If foam starts to collect on the top of the water, simply scrape it off with a spoon.  When the water is mostly absorbed, add the rice, red onion, kale (I actually used frozen mixed greens) and the spices to the lentils and turn the heat down to a simmer. 

Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the greens are soft and the spices are well absorbed.

Put the chiffonade spinach into a bowl, and then spoon your dal on top, letting the spinach wilt slightly. I served mine with two whole wheat crackers, but sprouted bread would also be delightful.

(An Instagram pic just for fun )

*Be sure to include black pepper whenever you are cooking with turmeric or curry as it helps the body metabolize them.


  1. You had me with "uses only one pot."

  2. Lentils are very worthy of blogging!! Carry on.

  3. Just made it tonight. So amazingly delicious!!! =D It was a big hit!

  4. I love lentils, too.... but somehow I seem to post more chickpea recipes even though there are 3+ kinds of lentils to play with... Split red lentils are my favourite, though, so I look forward to trying this out. :)

  5. this looks really good! i want to make it!