All posts filed under: Lentils

healthy recipes from daals, soups, rice using lentils, pulses and beans inspired by the wisdom of Ayurveda

Shredded Carrot & Lentil Salad

I think what I appreciate most about Indian/Pakistani salads is their similarity to a slaw.  They can be eaten as is,  a side, added to a wrap or the final topping on a bowl. Complimenting a meal or a bite, similar to a chutney or condiment. While retaining a hearty, crunchy freshness like a slaw. Since they last a few days in the fridge without wilting or losing the crunch factor, they can easily be made ahead. A handy convenience when time is of the essence. Salad-slaws can be a quick way to add a missing taste, quality or vegetable to a meal when applying Ayurveda food guidelines to eating.  Need a sweet, sour, astringent or bitter taste? Or something a little dry (aka crunchy) or light? Depending on the type of slaw, several missing bases can be covered at once. If I haven’t already said enough about why slaw-salads are awesome, here is one more thing. Slaw type salads aide and support digestion. A light fermentation process takes place from the salt and lemon or lime “dressing”.  Adding a …

Roasted Butternut Squash & Lentil Stew

The days when I craved butternut squash soup were long ago. A time when the sweetness did not overwhelm my taste buds and the heavy soup felt light.  An era I did not think would return.  Until I came across this Roasted Butternut Squash & Lentil Stew recipe in . A cookbook filled with Chitra Agarwal’s family’s recipes from the southern Indian state of Karnataka (click here to read my review). The combination of sweet and spicy ingredients immediately appealed to my current taste preference. Which is currently lingering between autumn and winter. When vata dosha is still center stage and kapha dosha begins to introduce itself.  A time when the grounding, earthy nourishment from the sweet taste is still integral to Ayurveda’s seasonal diet. While the pungent taste needs to take a step forward.  To counterbalance the start of the cold and wet season with its warming and drying qualities. A take on a traditional family recipe, Chitra, author of , blends butternut squash with red lentils.  Then spices it up with with a traditional …

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 …

creamy-quinoa-khichadi

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 health. If we are unable to digest, we’re likely in-digesting. Over time, 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 dry.  However, when cooked properly and combined with digestive spices, we can reap the nutritional benefits of lentils without the digestive issues. Here are 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 …

Post Cleanse 'Ayurvedic' Khichadi

Post Cleanse ‘Ayurvedic’ Khichadi

This year instead of going away for Labor Day weekend, I decided to treat the hardest working organ in my body, my liver, with a treat—a cleanse.  After which, I treated myself and my digestive system, with khichadi. Back in the day when I lived with my parents, khichadi rotated onto the dinner table on a bi-monthly basis, if not more.  My mom would make Naram (soft) Khichadi, which is like the consistency of porridge. It too is made with split moong, but the moong still retains the skin or peel. The flavor and consistency are quite different considering the only differences are the amount of water and using split-unpeeled moong, but the essence is the same. She would also make Bhooni Khichadi, which is similar to my recipe below. The variations for khichadi are endless and can depend on regional traditions, the occasion or on the need for some variety.  One thing is for sure, khichadi is always made with moong and a grain (most often basmati rice, a red rice or millet). Khichadi is not just an ‘Ayurvedic’ …

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 …