All posts filed under: Lentils

Moong Daal in a Pot

Ghee-licious Moong Daal

Sometimes you got to strip it all away and get down to the bare necessities. It took me six months of recipe testing to digest, practice and implement this, but I got there. Practice, practice, practice! And now I have a recipe for moong daal, I love. You would think a girl who grew up eating daal, almost every other week, could just whip up a moong daal.  It would be easy breezy. Well…apparently, that wasn’t my case. Growing up we enjoyed a dry moong curry in which the integrity of the lentil remained. Several other single lentil daal recipes were enjoyed too, but never a soupy moong. Hmmm—maybe it’s a regional thing? I am not really sure of the why, but I do know there are a plethora daal recipes. They vary from town to town, street to street, home to home, religion to religion in South Asia—that’s just the glory of daal. While working on this recipe, I pulled out every typical ingredient from my daal bag—fried onions, whole garam masalas, an array of spice mixes, but none of them were …

Sprouted Moong Soupy Khichadi with Summer Veggies

After returning home from a summer road trip to New Mexico, my body was needing cooling, hydrating and earthy nourishment. A meal that was filling, yet light. Comfort food with a touch of the summer season. Soupy khichadi, kitchri or kitchuri, depending on the transliteration, was calling my name. I started to make soupy khichadi when I was living in San Marcos. One of the many beautiful towns surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. During this life period, my eyes awoke with the sunrise and fell asleep when it was too dark to see. We had no electricity or curtains, but we had a propane stove and a pressure cooker.  All we needed to prepare our daily khichadi lunch. Not familiar with pressure-cooker cooking, my khichadi was consistently neither a porridge nor a pilaf. Instead, I’d end up with soupy khichadi. Where the lentils and rice still held together in a seasoned broth. Basically daal over rice made in one pot. A comforting meal with that nostalgic touch. Exactly what I needed, in my temporary home …


Creamy Quinoa Khichadi with Cumin Ghee

There’s something comforting about a rice and lentil porridge that just makes me holistically feel good.  I think Naram (creamy) Khichadi (khitch-ri) is infused within each of my cells. If a month goes by and they haven’t gotten a taste of some khichadi,they begin radiating signals and I begin to crave for it. If you’ve seen my Instagram posts, you know I make khichadi quite often. Per your requests—and thank you for the encouragement, I am posting the recipe for this down home dish with a slight twist today. I never thought the day would come when khichadi, would be requested by so many!  I think my nani (maternal grandmother) would be in shock if she knew that a dish she would dare not serve at a dinner party, is now loved across many cultures. Like daal (lentil soup), the are several khichadi variations. However, the base is always moong daal and a grain—traditionally, basmati rice. Naram Khichadi or just Khichadi as we refer to it in our home, is similar to Bhuni Khichadi. It is soft, moist and easy on the digestion. The …

Coconut-y Summertime Daal #chitchaatchai

5 Tips on How to Make Lentils Digestion Friendly

Lentils are a rich source of fiber, protein and minerals, but as nutritious as they are, lentils are a gas (vata) producing food. Not fun for the digestive process and for those with vata imbalances. According to Ayurveda, healthy digestion is essential for good heath. If we are unable to digest, we’re likely in-digesting. Overtime, indigestion can lead to the accumulation of ama or toxins.  Eventually, this build-up can lead to disease. To prevent ama or toxins, one thing we can do is ensure our food, in this case, lentils, are digestion-friendly. Lentils are astringent in taste and are primarily comprised of air + earth. The combination of these two elements makes lentils heavy, cold and drying.  However, when cooked properly and combined with digestive spices, we can reap the nutritional benefits of lentils without the digestive issues. Here’s 5 tips on how to make your favorite lentil dishes digestion-friendly

Simply Delicious Daal II with Spinach #chitchaatchai

Simply Delicious Daal II (with Spinach)

One of my favorite additions to my Simply Delicious Tangy Daal in 30 minutes is adding leafy greens, like baby spinach. It’s a great way to transform leftovers into a new meal or work with what you know and then change it up! Adding greens into the daal also saves me a bit of time and clean up as I no longer need to make a separate veggie dish to accompany my daal. Yes, it stems from a bit laziness—but when time is of the essence, this is quick and efficient.  I get 2 for 1 and then all I need is a crunchy salad, a grain (if I am having this for lunch), and viola my healthy, digestible meal is complete in less than an hour. Eating a bit of greens with every meal is important, especially for pitta and kapha dominant constitutions. Bitter tastes are primarily cooling, light, can be detoxifying, rich in fiber and high in nutrients. If you have high blood sugar, are overweight, have a tendency to gain weight easily, incorporating bitter greens into every meal …

Simply Delicious Tangy Masoor Daal in 30 Minutes

I love me some daal. With rice, crunchy sourdough, chapati, quinoa, millet or just as is, like a bowl of soup. It can be my lunch or dinner, and if you are my sister—breakfast. Aside from the taste, the nostalgia, the comfort factor, I love the variety of daals I can make by simply changing a few ingredients or my cooking process. From adjusting the water content, the type or blend of lentils, the cook time, or the spices results in a new daal every time. Cooking lentils is like a blank canvas waiting to be splashed with some vibrant colors. From Mondrian to Pollack, I choose the palette and then it’s all about the technique and having fun! Daal means lentils—but daal is also the name of a dish.  With the large variety of lentils available, comes a gizzilion types of daals. Depending on the person’s region, what the cook feels like making, the type of lentils, the dietery restrictions, the spices, or the cooking technique—will inform the flavor of the daal. You never know what to expect when someone says they are cooking up daal. It can be thick and …

Coconut-y Summertime Daal #chitchaatchai

Summer Time Red Lentil & Coconut-y Daal (Masoor)

Of all the daals (lentils) in my cupboard, peeled masoor daal (red lentils) are my go to lentils in a pinch. They cook-up quickly, they’re tasty, can be found in most grocery stores (even Trader Joe’s), are affordable and nutrient packed. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. I’ll take it, thank you very much. Usually when I make daal with masoor, I like to keep it quite brothy, like a light soup. This summer, however, I’ve been opting for a thicker consistency since my appetite tends to have a little more velocity. In making a heavier daal, I skip eating the grain portion of my meal as the coconut cream satisfies the sweet taste and the heavy quality of any form of starch. The oily and cooling qualities of coconut also balances the drying and warming quality of red lentils.  In the end, although this is a heavier daal than I am use to,  it’s still lighter than if was to have it with rice, toast or potatoes. This daal works well for my pitta-kapha constitution. For someone with more vata-pitta energy, I would recommend a slice …