I love it. The smell, the taste, the health benefits.
Even as a little girl I was always so drawn to many different cultural foods. I wanted to try everything! I remember in grade 2 this boy in my class brought sushi and seaweed to school and I ate up every last bite while the other kids made funny faces and spat it out.
Crunchy crickets however… I haven’t been able to get over that. I just can’t do it. I can eat them when they are ground and covered in chocolate, but actually mini crunchy tiny crickets. UGH! Can’t do it.
Anyways, I don’t want to spoil your appetite before we move forward to my incredible Red Lentil Dhal. It is such an amazing fall meal and because it makes a large pot, you can enjoy leftovers for the whole week! Or freeze it and enjoy leftovers for months.
I love a good leftover meal. I actually call my boyfriend the leftover chef because he’s so great at grabbing a bunch of random leftover ingredients out of the fridge and whipping up an amazing meal.
It’s nice having two cooks in the house. We take turns normally. I’m on dinner duty while he does breakfast duty then we fend for ourselves for lunch. It works out really well actually. He normally gets up before me and prepares eggs, pancakes or works his magic with the leftovers.
Being that he works later and I’m at home, I cook dinner so it’s nice and warm when he walks through the door and he doesn’t have to worry about cooking at the end of his day. When he walked in the door the other night his first words were, “Mmm, I smell curry!”
Oh! and as a random side note, I often have lots of people ask me if I take my own food photos. Yes I do! I love photography and love snapping photos of food (especially baked goods!) and the funny thing is, I often have a hard time taking a photo of my entrees because I make them at night and the lighting sucks! For the Red Lentil Dhal however, I snapped this photo while eating it for lunch the next day, i.e. good lighting!
So onto this delicious recipe. As a Qualitarian, I enjoy a variety of proteins in my diet. Often times people think I’m vegan or paleo, and truth is, I’m both! Bottom line is to enjoy and eat quality food, regardless if it’s plant based or not.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (or more to taste, based on preference)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 1 (14-oz) can light coconut milk
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + fresh cracked pepper
- 1 (5-oz) package baby spinach
- Cilantro and green onion for garnish (optional)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add in oil. Add in chopped onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Saute over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened.
- Stir in the ginger and carrots, and continue sauteing for 3-4 more minutes.
- Add in the curry powder, cumin, and turmeric. Stir well. Cook for a minute, until fragrant.
- Stir in entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, and salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered with the lid ajar, for roughly 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. Add a touch more broth if you prefer a thinner consistency.
- Once lentils are cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the spinach. Combine it into the dhal well as the heat will help to wilt it.
- Serve over basmati rice or quinoa and garnish with cilantro and green onion.
- *This dhal will keep for up to a week in the fridge or 4-5 weeks frozen and enjoyed throughout the winter.