Indian Inspiration

So January was mostly spent in one of my favourite places – India! Having copious amounts of food obviously. Dry January has never been so easy!

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My Mum and Dad enjoying our one-millionth Dosa of the trip!

I thought I would share a recipe with you for (funnily enough) something that I hated growing up, but now can’t get enough of; dhal. I think it’s something to do with being told how healthy something is for you when you are young, that makes you repelled by it…’Dhal fry’ is one of the cheapest and most simple meals you can get in India and was my go-to dish when backpacking there in 2013.

Since coming back from India this time around I have been craving lentils. They are good for your digestion, high in protein and increase your energy levels, so something I really want to eat more of. I have made a conscious decision to eat less bread, white rice and pasta so I am craving substantial accompaniments for things like chicken and salmon. Lentils are a great replacement as they are still hearty and filling but don’t leave you feeling lethargic.

I made a simple dhal with ingredients that you will probably already have in the cupboard, and even if you don’t, I really think spices are an investment for your kitchen that you won’t regret.

Indian Dhal
1 cup green lentils (soaked for at least 1 hour- best results overnight)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mustard seeds
An onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
fresh coriander (stems chopped finely and separated)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
3 vine tomatoes chopped
One thumb size bit of fresh ginger
(4 servings)

First start by cooking the lentils, bring to the boil with one cup of stock and two of water. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and leave for the liquid to be absorbed for around 15/20 minutes. Once this is done, set aside.

Meanwhile chop onion, garlic and grate the ginger. Once done, either use a pestle and mortar or food processor to blend the three. Get a pan on a medium heat and add the coconut oil. Chuck in the dry spices and fry for a minute, making sure not to burn them. You may need to add more oil if the pans too hot, or the spices may stick.

Now add the ginger-garlic-onion mix along with the coriander stems and a dash of water and cook for 5 mins, then add the fresh chopped tomatoes and cook for 15 mins. Once it’s all softened and cooked down, mix in the cooked lentils and Greek yoghurt, cook for another minute or so and add the coriander leaves.

I served mine with chicken thighs roasted in garam masala and garlic salt 🙂

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