Easy vegan Red Lentil Dhal

If you’re searching for something to warm up these chilly days, I’ve got just the thing. Imagine tucking into a bowl of soul-satisfying, easy vegan Red Lentil Dhal. It’s a dish that’s not only quick to whip up – taking about 15 minutes – but it’s also brimming with aromatic spices and packed with plant-based protein. It’s like receiving a warm hug from the inside. And the best part? While it gently simmers away, you’ll find just enough time to cook some fluffy rice or prepare fresh rotis. Trust me, it’s the perfect antidote to a rainy day.

Nutritional value of Red Lentil Dhal

Red lentil dhal is not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits, making it a fantastic addition to your meal plan, especially for those seeking plant-based protein sources. Here’s an overview of its nutritional values:

  1. High in protein: Red lentils are an excellent source of protein, which is crucial for muscle repair, growth, and overall body function. A cup of cooked red lentils can provide about 18 grams of protein.
  2. Rich in fiber: They are also high in dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion and helping to prevent constipation. Fiber can aid in managing blood sugar levels, contributing to satiety and potentially assisting in weight management. A cup of cooked lentils offers around 15 grams of fiber.
  3. Provides essential vitamins and minerals: Red lentils are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (especially folate), iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. These nutrients play vital roles in energy production, oxygen transport, immune function, and overall health.
  4. Heart health benefits: The combination of high fiber, protein and antioxidants in red lentils can contribute to cardiovascular health by helping to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease.
  5. Rich in antioxidants: Red lentils contain antioxidants like flavonoids, which can help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, offering protective benefits against chronic diseases.
Red Lentil Dhal with coconut milk in a bowl

Recipe for the easy vegan Red Lentil Dhal

INGREDIENTS (for 2 portions)
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ginger (size of a thumb), finely minced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ½ tsp lemongrass powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 100g red lentils
  • 70ml coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, letting them crackle. Then, mix in the ginger and sauté for about a minute.
2. Add the spices (turmeric, chili flakes, pepper, asafoetida, lemongrass and ground cumin) and let them roast for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in the red lentils and blend well with the spices. Add roughly 300 ml of water and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add more water if needed to get the right consistency.
4. Finish by adding the salt and coconut milk. Bring to a boil once more, then take off the heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve.

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