Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Dahl is a tasty dish and a great way to pack a huge amount of flavour in with spices. The main ingredient in dahl - lentils, have a somewhat sweet and nutty flavour and are a great source of protein and iron in the plant-based diet. Your gut loves lentils and other legumes. They are very high in soluble and insoluble fibre. The soluble fibre becomes gel-like in nature and as it moves down the digestive track it traps and ferries the cholesterol-containing bile out of the body. And the insoluble fibre is the food for your gut microbiome.
Keeping your gut happy is the key to boosting your health in so many ways. When we help to feed the right guys - by giving them high-fibre plant foods - they in turn, boost our immunity, fight obesity, protect our joints and help prevent life-threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease. We are only just discovering how much our gut plays a role in our overall health. *A 25-year study examined the dietary habits of 16,000 middle-aged men from countries all over the world. Their food patterns were analysed with regard to the risk of death from coronary heart disease. The dietary patterns included: higher rates of dairy consumption in Northern Europe; higher consumption of meat in the U.S.; higher consumption of vegetables, fish, legumes and wine in Southern Europe, Higher consumption of cereals, soy and fish in Japan. When the entirety of the data was analysed and compared to the risk of death from heart disease, there was an astounding 82% reduction of risk associated with the consumption of legumes! Lentils are a powerhouse of health-promoting properties. It's time to load up, people, and this is a great dish to get you started!
vegan- dairy-free, nut-free
Ingredients: 40g olive oil
2 brown onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ginger, grated
2 tsp turmeric, grated
1 green chilli, diced
1/2 cauliflower head, cut into small 2cm chunks
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
2 bay leaves 2 cups yellow or red lentils, 400g
400g tin coconut milk 200g tinned tomatoes
1 handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped (save some for garnish)
3 cups Massel chicken-style stock (or 3 cups water mixed with 3 tsp Massel stock powder)
4 small naan bread, 200g
2 cups boiled wild rice
200g green beans, steamed
mango chutney (optional)
Step 1 - Heat oil in a large pot heat olive oil to med-high heat and saute onion, garlic, turmeric, chilli and ginger for 2 mins. Then add cumin, coriander, garam masala and saute for another 2 minutes.
Step 2 - Add the lentils, coconut milk, bay leaves and stock and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and the cauliflower and cook for another 10 minutes.
Step 3 - Serve with the wild rice, green beans and naan bread. Optional - add a dollop of mango chutney. Enjoy!
* Menotti A, Kromhout D, Blackburn H, et al. Food intake patterns and 25-year mortality from coronary heart disease: cross-cultural correlations in the Seven Countries Study. The Seven Countries Study Research Group. Eur J Epidemiol 1999 Jul;15(6):507-15. 1999.