Ayurvedic Red Lentil Dahl
“We must speak to them with our hands
before we speak to them with our lips.”
- San Pedro de Clavel
Red lentil dal is a warm, nourishing meal that can be made in so many different ways. This recipe can serve you as a base to which you can add your own variations on spices, vegetables, and garnishes. After making it a few times, you will learn how to make it without the recipe.
Red lentils are one of the easiest beans to digest, and are ideal for healing (or re-setting) the digestive system. The red lentil is also a powerhouse of vital nutrients including plant-sourced iron and protein, essential vitamin Bs, folate, zinc, phosphorous, manganese, fiber, copper, and potassium.
This recipe is considered tridoshic and can be enjoyed by all body-types. It is also vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free making it a great meal choice for those with specific dietary needs. If you are not grain-free, you can combine this soup with a rice, quinoa or any grain.
Tridoshic Red Lentil Dal Recipe
2 tablespoon ghee, olive oil or coconut oil
1 leek, washed and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
Fresh ginger (1 to 2 inch cube), peeled and finely mince
Spices: 1/4 teaspoon each of whole fennel, coriander, brown mustard, and cumin seeds, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups split red lentils, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour
7 cups water
Optional vegetables: 1 large carrot, thinly sliced 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced, 4 kale leafs, stemmed and chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1 lemon, juiced (use lime for Pitta)
Chopped green onions
Ghee for individual servings
1 teaspoon ghee (ideal for balancing vata or dryness)
Heat a large sauce pan or soup pot over medium heat and add in the ghee or oil. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic and ginger and sautee a few moments. After 3-5 minutes, add in the fennel, coriander, cumin, brown mustard seeds, and black pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the turmeric and continue to sauté for 1 minute stirring constantly.
Add the water in the same pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the soaked red lentils (discard the water used for soaking) and stir. Reduce the heat to low-medium and cover the pan, leaving a slight opening to prevent the risk of overflow. Cook here for 10 minutes, stirring half way.
As the beans are cooking, slice any optional vegetables that you wish to add.
After 10 minutes, add the chopped veggies (if adding) to the pot, stir, and place back the lid keeping it slightly cracked. Cook here for 15 minutes or until the beans and veggies are very soft (almost mushy) and well-cooked. Stir every 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add garnishes of your choice and enjoy!
About the Author
Briya (Rachel) Freeman is a facilitator specialized in meditation, ayurveda and modern spirituality. She is passionate about exploring the potentials of human consciousness in a way that respects, unites and transcends global culture and tradition.
Briya is a long-term student of Berdhanya Swami Tierra, a female mystic and shaman of South American origin. She also holds studies in ayurveda at Anjali School of Ayurveda (Kerala, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa. She is the creator of Ayurveda for Vibrant Living, a practical exploration of the fundamentals of the science of self-healing.
Briya is based in Ottawa, Canada and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org