The best dhal you will ever eat

{Welcome to the new look blog and new address. To make a long story short, I was struggling with the technology gods on the previous site. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and start afresh, so here is the shiny new blog. I hope you like it!}

Hello beautiful!

Today I thought that I would share one of our favourite family recipes. Mondays in our home have become known as Moong dhal Mondays, or Moongdays! I find that running the home is so much easier when I have an assigned day for certain meals. It cuts out a lot of the drama involved in deciding what to cook, so that I can relax and do other things. (Like recreate Monet’s garden.) We like to do a fancy lunch on Sundays, so Mondays are a lovely day to eat something simple, nourishing and easily digestible.

There are two secrets to making this dish amazing.

The lentils you use and the cooking medium.

  • If you have never heard of moong dhal (or mung dhal as it is sometimes spelled), it is the split mung bean. It is not usually available in the supermarket. I get mine at the local health shop, you can also find it at any Indian grocer. In ayurveda, it is known as a tridoshic bean, which means that it is good for all constitutions. This means that if you eat it, instead of being thrown out of balance (as can unintentionally happen when we are unknowingly eating a food that is not designed for our constitution), it will bring us into balance. A good thing, don’t you think?

Another reason it is good is that it is the most easily digestible bean. How something is digested, is a pillar of ayurveda. According to ayurveda, all problems in the body start with inefficient digestion. If you have ever tried to eat beans and lentils and found that they are too gassy for you, try this recipe. I promise that you will feel great.

  • The cooking medium that has changed my life is ghee. If you have not heard of ghee, it is butter that has been cooked on a very low flame until all the impurities have cooked away. It is the golden nectar of ayurveda. People have told me that it is a saturated fat and that it causes cholesterol, so they will not eat it. I can tell you that I know of ayurvedic practitioners who have healed people of cholesterol with ghee. A teaspoon a day is said to prevent alzheimers as it lubricates the brain. Provided it is prepared with milk from happy cows, it is a sattvic food. This means that it brings a wonderful state of peace into the body as it calms the nervous system. Initially, I was quite reluctant to cook with ghee, as it seemed to go against everything mainstream health professionals have to say about a healthy diet. I have found that since I have been cooking with ghee, I am losing weight and I am feeling much more balanced. I buy my ghee from the local health shop. I have found that the supermarket variety is not as pure, since it is mass produced and I do not know about the quality of the milk it comes from. Sometimes I make my own. It is really easy and satisfying to do. There are a lot of wonderful videos on the internet that you can find which will teach you how to make it.

Onto the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of moong dhal, soaked for two hours (Soaking of all grains – including rice – is very important, it makes the digestion much easier.)
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup of good quality coconut cream
  • salt to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon to taste
  • fresh coriander for serving (optional – my children don’t like it, but yours might)

Method:

  • Place moong beans, water or stock and turmeric in a large, heavy-based pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes, or until tender. Stir occasionally and check the mixture is not catching on the bottom of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a small frying pan and add the onion. Cook on a low heat until soft and golden and add the cumin, ground coriander and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir the onions and spices into the lentil mixture.
  • Add the coconut cream and stir until heated through.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon and fresh coriander on top.
  • I normally make this with basmati rice, cucumber raita and mango chutney.

So that is it! This dish will take no more than 30 minutes, from start to finish (excluding the soaking time, of course). I hope you try it and let me know if it has been a success in your home.

Blessings to you.

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2 thoughts on “The best dhal you will ever eat

  1. Pingback: Inspiring peace – conversations with wise women | Peaceful Mothering

  2. Pingback: Inspiring peace – conversations with wise women

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