Dal is a dish from the Indian subcontinent that is usually made with lentils, but can also be made with split peas and beans. Yellow split peas, split mung beans, split red lentils and split kidney beans are just a few examples of the types of pulses used in making dal. Each country within the Indian subcontinent uses one type of legume more frequently than the other. They also have slightly different ways of preparing the dish.
Red lentil dal is something I have at least once a week. And, that’s not just because dahl is delicious, lentils are an amazing source of protein. They are also rich in B vitamins like folate, and in minerals like calcium, iron and zinc. So, it is certainly one to make a pantry staple if it isn’t already.
“Lentils provide 26g of protein per 100g. They also provide 5% of your daily recommended intake of calcium, 30% of magnesium, 25% vitamin B6 and 41% iron.
Traditionally, Indians cook dal by boiling lentils with a little turmeric and salt. They then make a fried garnish consisting of various raw spices, chilli, garlic onions and ginger. Once the garnish is cooked, it is added to the lentils and served. Some recipes also include coconut milk, cream and even yoghurt.
My recipe is more like a one pot dish, mainly because I don’t cook with fat. It is still very yummy, and of course very easy to make. I usually have my dal with brown rice, but you can eat it with nan bread, chapati or a roti. This time I chose to have it with farro.