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 will help bring balance and maintain health. Eat more greens—it does a body good.
Season: Fall and Early Winter
Qualities: Moist, Warm, Soft
Tastes: Astringent, Bitter, Pungent, Sour, Sweet, Salty
Time: 40 minutes
What you need: a 3-4 quart heavy bottom pot, a small pot or frying pan and a potato masher
In the pot:
- 1 cup masoor peeled+split aka red lentils
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 1 medium tomato finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 T grated ginger (or paste)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
Vaghaar/Hot Oil Infusion:
- 1 1/2 T coconut oil or ghee
- 1 T cumin seeds
- 1 large garlic clove thinly sliced
- 2-3 T lemon juice
- 1/3 cup cilantro
Step 1: Rinse lentils and add them to a 3-4 quart pot with 6 1/2 cups water. On high heat bring the mixture a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Remove any foam that rises to the top (this will help support digestion).
Step 2: After removing the foam, add the finely chopped tomatoes, grated ginger, coriander and turmeric powders, and salt. Continue to let the daal simmer for 10 minutes or so. Then using a potato masher, gently mash the tomatoes—until the tomatoes are broken down and blended into the mixture (about 1 min). Continue to let the daal simmer.
Step 3: In a small pot or frying pan, warm the ghee or coconut oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (not smoking or it becomes rancid) add in the cumin seeds and garlic slices (add 2-3 seeds to test the oil, if the seeds sizzle right away, its ready). Once the garlic is nice and golden, immediately and slowly add the infused oil to the simmering pot of lentils.
Step 4: Stir and then add the 4 cups of spinach and let the daal continue to simmer until the spinach is tender. About 10 minutes. Then turn off the stove when the daal is the consistency you prefer.
Step 5: Add in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Stir and serve immediately.