Turmeric Dal - High protein winter comfort food


We grew up in a vegetarian, indian household where food and spices were a very important part of daily life. Various types of dal were always a staple part of the meal. 

As kids, we'd come home from school and ask Mum what was for dinner, the inevitable answer was dal with roti, rice and some type of vegetable subzi (vegetables cooked with turmeric & other indian spices).

Of course we would groan and complain and ask for pizza instead! My mum would patiently explain that this was a healthy balanced meal and it would give our bodies all the nutrients it needs to grow and function properly. 

(On a side note, she would make a really delicious vegetarian, wholemeal base pizza on the weekends which we all loved!)

Fast forward a few years, I left home and moved away to uni. Finally, I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever. After an unhealthy few months of eating nutella on toast, you can guess what I eventually craved!  Yes, dhal with roti, rice and vegetable subzi! 

Fast forward a few more years and here I am playing out the same scenario with my kids, except this time I am the one explaining to my 7 year old why that steaming bowl of freshly made dal is so good for him.  Meanwhile, my 3 year old has taken to it in such a big way that she will only eat dal and rice for dinner and nothing else!  

Many people get confused with the difference between dal, dhal and lentils. They are essentially the same thing. Dal and Dhal are only spelt differently as they have been translated from Hindi (which is a phonetic language) to English. Cooked lentils can be referred to as dal / dhal. 

So, why is dal and rice a staple for millions of vegetarians? 

Dal or lentils are low in calories and high in nutrition. The combination of the two provides a complete protein, so it is perfect for vegetarians.

However that is not all …

Dal can reduce the risk of heart disease. It is high in soluble fiber so can reduce blood cholesterol, it is also a good source of magnesium and folate which are also important for heart health! 

Dal is low in calories. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied

Dal increases energy levels. Dal is a good source of iron and is low GI. The fiber and complex carbohydrates increases steady slow burning energy.

Dal is good for the environment! It is a wonderful source of protein, so you can improve your health and help our planet by reducing meat consumption and replace it with dal!

So, now that I have convinced you to tuck into this warm spicy bowl of deliciousness, how should you prepare your dal?

Here are some quick and simple recipes using the Turmeric & Co dal blends….

Spinach & Coconut Dal 

Spinach & Coconut Dal 

Spinach & Coconut Dal in 4 steps

  1. Heat oil, add 1 chopped onion and and 2 cloves garlic, sauté. (Onion & garlic is optional).
  2. Add the Turmeric & Co Mung Dal packet, allow spices and lentils to be coated in the oil briefly.
  3. Add spinach, 2.5 cups of water and ½ cup of coconut milk or cream.  
  4. Simmer for 20 mins or until lentils are soft. Serve with Rice or Roti.
Pumpkin & Ginger Dal

Pumpkin & Ginger Dal

Pumpkin & Ginger Dal

1. Heat the oil, add 1 heaped teaspoon of freshly grated ginger. Mix in the Turmeric & Co Mysoor dal.

2. Add three cups of water and ½ cup chopped tomato then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 

3. Add 1 cup of chopped pumpkin and simmer for another 15-20mins until lentils and pumpkin are both soft.

4. Take off heat and mix in a tablespoon of fresh chopped coriander before serving with rice & yoghurt.