There are so many wonderful variations of lentil dahl (it’s basically Indian style soup); often with garam masala or curry powder, onion and garlic. This one is even simpler because you won’t need to chop an onion or crush any garlic. Instead I’ve used mustard seeds, nigella and fenugreek seeds to create a warm and fragrant flavour.
I started experimenting with onion and garlic free flavours because I have many clients who can’t tolerate them (they may have onion/garlic sensitivity or they might be following the Fodmap diet for IBS relief).
If you have a slow-cooker, you can look forward to coming home to a warm, welcoming meal after work.
Planning stews or hearty soups like this into your week is so fabulous because you'll have plenty of leftovers for either lunch or dinner the next day (and again the next day!) Simply double the ingredients if you want more servings. It freezes really well too, so I often make a double batch so that I have some healthy options ready to go for busy weeks.
What herbs and spices do you like to use when making a lentil dahl?
- 200g red lentils washed and drained well
- 1 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- Heaped ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- Heaped 1/4 tsp nigella seeds
- < 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp or more cayenne (depending on how hot you like it)
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 2.5 cups of water (add more if you prefer a soup like consistency)
- 1 handful of fresh or frozen spinach leaves
- Optional 3 carrots, chopped small
- 80-160g brown rice (40g dry weight per person)
A note on measurements of the spices: a little guessing won't go amiss and won't make too much difference if you are slightly out.
- Wash the lentils, drain and keep aside
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the spices, mix and wait for the mustard seeds to start to pop
- Add the washed and drained lentils, mix and coat them in the mixture for a minute
- At this point, you could add in finely chopped carrots if you wanted to pad it out further and sneak in extra veggies
- Add water and sea salt and stir. Partially cover and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils have softened
- Turn off the heat. Fold in the spinach and let it wilt
- Serve over brown rice or as a soup. Brown rice is one of my favourite complex carbohydrates because it is so energising and easy on the digestive system for most.
Hope you love this recipe as much as I do! For more food inspiration please head over to my Instagram and Facebook page or get in touch with me via the contact page or in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!