I am a big fan of Indian food. I love all the big flavors and the spices. Plus, if you make it at home, its actually really healthy if you choose to not add all the butter and cream that Indian restaurants often do.
All the different spices might be a little intimidating if you haven’t cooked with them before, but I promise that if you give it a shot, its very easy. You can usually find all the spices you need in the big grocery stores these days, but if not, look for an Indian grocery store and you will be sure to find them.
Though I love the comforting flavors of Daal, I find the usual way its served in restaurants to be a little plain in the sense that its usually served as a side dish and there is only lentils and onions in it. So I like to add a lot more diced veggies to mine which makes it more of a meal in itself rather than just a dish on the side.
I cant even tell you how good this smells as it simmers away in your kitchen! You will have people stopping by the kitchen wondering what you are making because it smells so damn good.
I like to have a meatless meal once in a while, but I still am conscious of having protein in each meal. This dish is vegetarian but still packed with protein and other nutrients. The spices themselves have health benefits too, like Turmeric which is anti-inflammatory.
If you have never tried cooking Indian food at home, I challenge you to give it a try! You will be surprised how easy it is!
This dish freezes really well so don’t be afraid to make lots and put some in your freezer for one of those days you don’t feel like cooking.
Indian Daal with Vegetables
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp asafetida
- 2 tsp panch puran (mix of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds)
- 2 tsp curry or menthe leaves
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots , diced
- 4 stalks celery , diced
- 4 - 5 garlic cloves
- 1 square inch ginger , diced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tomatoes , diced
- 1 green chili
- 2 cups red daal (lentils)
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 bunch kale , chopped
- 1 tbsp . salt or to taste
- 2 tsp palm sugar
- In a big pot on medium heat, add the coconut oil.
- Add the asafetida, panch puran, curry or menthi leaves and cook till the seeds start to pop.
- Next add the onion, carrots, celery, ginger, tomatoes, turmeric, garam masala, red chili powder, tomatoes, chili and garlic and salt. In that order. Stirring a little bit in between each addition.
- When the veggies are tender, add the daal and the broth.
- Add the palm sugar and stir again.
- Cover and cook till the daal is soft. This can take up to 45 mins.
- Half way through, add the chopped kale and cover again.
- When its ready, adjust the seasoning and spices as you see fit.
- Serve on its own, or with roti, or over rice.