Indian Dal Comfort Food
This stuff is straight Sunday night comfort food. Not mac n' cheese, not pizza, not take-out sushi....Nope, I want mushy, creamy, Indian-spicy dal. For my dal, I use split yellow mung beans. I've already expressed my love of mung beans here. But these are special mung beans. These have had their green husks taken off which removes the gaseous content of the bean making it much easier to digest. Without a husk to keep each bean intact during cooking, they all turn to mush. Mmmm.. So split yellow mung beans are the perfect food for babies/the elderly, as well as for healing the gut and cleansing your digestive tract.
For this recipe, you gotta be all about the Indian spices. Not only do things like turmeric, cumin and ginger have incredible health benefits, they also add a whole lotta flavor! So don't be stingy with the spices. The toppings are pretty crucial too...for adding unique flavors, nutrients, different textures and beautiful colors.
Ok here ya go... Ultimate comfort food coming right up.....
- 2 Tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 cup of split yellow mung beans, washed thoroughly (you can also use red lentils)
- 3 cups water
- sea salt
- big handful of baby spinach
- freshly ground black pepper
- pomegranate seeds
- cilantro, chopped
- full fat coconut milk
- pumpkin seeds
- Place a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is warm, add ghee and onion. Let saute until onion gets shiny.
- Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cumin and chili flakes. Saute for a few minutes until you can really smell the spices.
- Add mung beans and stir to get the beans coated in the spices. Add water.
- Bring up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, put on the lid and let simmer for 40-45 minutes. You might need to stir occasionally to ensure the beans are not burning on the bottom.
- Once the beans are fully cooked with a nice, mushy, thick soupy consistency, add the spinach. Let wilt.
- Salt to fit (about 1 tsp) and let cook a little longer (5 - 10 minutes).
- Taste and add more salt or spices if needed.
- Ladle the dal into bowls (could serve over rice), and top with a grind of fresh black pepper, a generous splash of coconut milk, and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, cilantro and pumpkin seeds.