Dal is a great vegetarian dish, and on an organic vegetarian cooking course with Larissa Green, I learned how to make a healthier version of it. Larissa uses lentil sprouts in this dal instead of lentils, as the sprouts require less cooking time, which makes the dish nutritious. She grows her own sprouts in a glass jar covered with a mesh wire lid. If you don’t grow your own sprouts, you can buy them from the supermarket.
Serves 3 – 4
1 and a half cups of lentil sprouts
1 chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
15 fresh curry leaves (use dried if you can’t get hold of fresh ones)
1 tsp tumeric
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chilli powder (use more if you like heat)
Heat the coconut oil in a pan for a minute. Add the curry leaves and cook for about a minute on high heat. Add the onion, and cook until it’s browned, stirring continuously. Lower the temperature, add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes. Add the spices, mixed together, and stir for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomato and stir for a further five minutes. Add half a teaspoon of salt. Add in the lentil sprouts and the honey and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. At this point, add 750 ml of water, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the dal has thickened. Serve with brown basmati rice.