I first learned to make dalh a decade ago in my yoga teacher's kitchen. Thank you Vishva-ji! What a treat it was to have him invite me into his home to teach me how to make this healthy meal. While the foundation of this dalh remains untouched, I've made some massive modifications over the years to suit my taste and make it my own. I'd happily have you over to teach you how to make this yummy dish, but if you're not close by, you can follow this simple recipe online!
We can't get enough of Indian flavours in our household. I'm partial to the delicious flavour of cumin, while Matt can't get enough of the mild taste and amazing health properties of turmeric. Making a huge Indian feast is a lot of work and I gladly undertake it on weekends, but for a quick and healthy weekday fix, I turn to this dalh recipe. It's a big batch and fills Matt and I up for one busy weekday dinner while the rest gets stored away for easy, heat-and-go lunches.
This soup can be served thick as a main meal stew (like this recipe) or watered down and even blended for a simple appetizer soup. Dahl is the perfect reason to invest in an immersion blender!
Preparation time: 35 minutes (+ 30 minutes simmer time)
- 1-1/2 cup red lentils (Clic brand are Canadian and can be found at Farm Boy, Mid-East Food Centre, and other locations)
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 3 cups tomatoes, diced
- 5 cups water
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups cauliflower and/or broccoli, diced
- 3 handfuls baby spinach (or any other greens, i.e. kale, collard greens, beet greens, etc.) *Less spinach if you're particularly sensitive to the weird feeling cooked spinach leaves on your tongue.
Soak lentils in a large saucepan while you prep ingredients. This gives you the opportunity to wash the dust and debris off the pulses and reduces your cooking time.
In another smaller saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add cumin seeds to hot oil and watch them pop. Once they've popped around (1 minute), add onion and reduce the heat to medium-low (cumin seeds burn quick). While that simmers, dice and add your tomatoes. Let this simmer and return your attention to your lentils.
Drain lentils. Add 5 cups of water and place on stovetop over high heat. Add spices and diced bell pepper and cauliflower/broccoli. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow both saucepans (lentils mixture and tomato cumin mixture) to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If lentils begin to stick to the bottom, reduce the heat further.
Stir in tomato mixture to lentil mixture. Add baby spinach one handful at a time, stirring and wilting between each addition. I promise you, three handfuls fit!
Serve with a dollop of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to add some pepper because the amazing anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are only unleashed when paired with black pepper!
Enjoy and let me know if you find yourself including this simple, yet tasty item to your weekly dinner or lunch rotation!