Dal is a traditional dish from the Indian subcontinent, usually a lentil-based soup that is served with steamed rice. In different areas and elevations, it is made in myriad ways.
I like to make mine thick and hearty, with a fresh squeeze of lemon at the end to really bring out the flavours. You only need the basics on hand to whip it up.
It packs a nutritional punch thanks to the nourishing lentils, rich in soluble fibre, plus plenty of fresh ginger and turmeric with their amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also easy to digest and guaranteed to satisfy the grumbliest of tummies.
I always make a full batch as the leftovers are very tasty toasted in a wrap. If you are not a fan of coriander (cilantro), swap it for parsley as it works just as well.
Delicious dal bowl
1 white onion, diced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
500g (2 cups) red lentils, rinsed well
2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
1.25 litres (5 cups) vegetable stock
juice of 1 lemon
285g (1½ cups) wild rice, rinsed
200g mushrooms, sliced
40g (1 cup) micro greens or sprouts
Combine all the dal ingredients, except for the lemon juice, in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or so, stirring every now and then until the dal starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, then stir in the lemon juice.
In a separate saucepan, add the wild rice and 750ml (3 cups) of water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer until all the water is absorbed.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the sliced mushrooms and a dash of water. Gently cook over low heat until softened and browned.
Assemble the dal bowls with the rice, dal and sautéed mushrooms. Top with a generous sprinkling of micro greens or sprouts.
This is an edited extract from Whole by Harriet Birrell (Hardie Grant, $50). Next week, creamy coconut polenta with balsamic vegetables