Lentils are amazing little creations which, in my opinion, are not used often enough in the Western world. They are used quite extensively in many developing nations, particularly India, as a key source of protein. One hundred grams of lentils contains 26g of protein and 31g of fibre, making them an inexpensive source of both!
Admittedly, lentils are something I don’t use enough of in my own cooking. I’ve had a bag of red ones staring me in the eye from my kitchen cupboard for the last few months, so I decided to do some experimenting, and I’d like to share a great success story I call Red Lentil Dhal Nirvana!!
Dhal is an indian dish that is quite spicy, but you can lighten up on the flavor if you feel it’s too much. It is often made with a lot of oil, as I found while trekking through India last year – instead, try this oil-free recipe!!
It is traditionally served with naan bread and rice, but given that these are both high in carbs, I’d suggest picking a portion controlled serving of one of these, and add a heap of greens on your plate instead!!
- 1 c dry red lentils
- 3 c water
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1.5 onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2-3 tbsp curry powder
- 1-2 tsp cumin
- dry red chili flakes, to taste
- 4 packets of Splenda (1g each)
- dash of salt
- pepper to taste
1. Boil water, then add lentils. Boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the lentils resemble a paste.
2. In a separate pan sprayed with non stick spray, add onions and garlic, and saute until soft.
Add can of tomatoes and all spices, and saute for another 3-5 minutes.
3. When lentils are paste-like, add the tomato mixture to the lentils, stir, and cook on low heat for another 10 minutes.
To alter the flavor, you can also try ginger (fresh or ground) and/or coriander.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional info per serving: