Yellow Split Lentil Dal with Seasonal Veg.

4 Jul

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A year ago I was blogging about green split lentils and blubbering about leaving my amazing job as a pastry cook.

Today I am officially done with my first year of nutrition graduate school!!! Woo woo. To celebrate, I will bring you full circle and present another split lentil recipe: Yellow Split Lentil Dal.

No matter how many different things I learn about in my nutrition classes, I always come back to FOOD.

A big fan of reading (and drooling over) Martha Rose Shulman’s NYTimes Recipes for Health, I never actually made anything of hers until recently. In the last month, I’ve gone on a Martha spree, making an eggplant pasta inspired by her recipe, finding my new FAVORITE way to prepare steel cut oats, and reading about her “sweet secret” (I guess there are a lot of us “health mavens” who find a niche in the world of dessert!). And this week when I bought a beautiful bag of yellow legumes, where did I find the inspiration to make a spiced lentil dal? Yep. Ms. Shulman strikes again!

Yellow split lentils (or peas) are super high in protein (10g per serving) and fiber (3g soluble fiber, 7g insoluble fiber per serving), and are a great source of folate and magnesium, with a decent amount of iron and zinc. Yay for plant-based protein! The slight downside is that they take about 45 minutes to cook, but you can just get your brown rice going in a rice cooker and simmer the lentils on a pot and by the time you’ve checked your email and browsed the Internet for what feels like a moment, dinner is basically ready.

Ooo and apparently yellow split peas can be used in baked desserts? Has anyone ever seen or tried a dessert with split peas in it?!

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Yellow Lentil Dal with seasonal veg.

adapted from Martha Rose Shulman of the NYTimes’ Recipes for Health

**I loved the flavor of the cumin seeds with the garlicky vegetables. I happened to have a bunch of seeds laying around from when I made these roasted nuts a while back. Feel free to use ground cumin if that is all you have on hand. 

1 cup split yellow lentils, rinsed

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1/2 medium onion (intact), peeled

Salt to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons oil

1-2 cups finely chopped seasonal veg. (I used a few asparagus sprigs, a small broccoli stalk, and a yellow squash)

1 plump garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1. Combine the lentils, ginger, turmeric and onion half (don’t chop it) with 1 quart water and salt to taste (about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons) and bring to a gentle boil. Stir only once to make sure there are no lentils sticking to the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium – the lentils should simmer briskly – and cook uncovered until the lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Stir in the lime juice. Stir together and simmer for another minute. Turn off the heat and using an immersion blender, an Indian mathani (a wooden tool used for mashing dal) or a wooden Mexican hot chocolate mixer, partially pureé the dal. It should be thick but not like a pureed soup.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and allow to sizzle, stirring, for 10 seconds. Add the garlic and cook until lightly colored, about 15 seconds. Add the vegetables and cook until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the lentils.

Serve over your favorite grain. I used short grain brown rice.

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