Updated: Mar 28, 2020
“Whatever lifts the corners
of your mouth, trust that.”
Easy, Energizing Dahl
This is a dish that has won over my heart many times. My students also often say they cannot believe how good they feel after making their first dahl.
In Ayurveda, a gently spiced dhal is recognized as one of the most balancing, nurturing, and sustaining foods. It is high protein, easy to digest and calming to the mind and emotions. In modern nutrition, dahl is commonly used as a foundation for both gentle detox plans and nutritional healing.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 40 Minutes
2½ cups dried red lentils, sifted and rinsed well
7 cups water
One 15-ounce can diced tomato (or 2 cups fresh) - optional
1½ Tbsp minced ginger
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp oil or ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp minced fresh chili or red chili flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
2¼ tsp salt or to taste
½ cup minced cilantro or mint leaves plus extra for garnishing
½ Tbsp minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
Place the lentils, water, tomato, ginger, and turmeric in a 4-quart pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
When the lentils have broken down and the soup is quite smooth, heat the oil or ghee in a small skillet over high heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and sauté for a few seconds. When the cumin darkens, add the chili and coriander and stir for a few seconds. Remove from the heat and add immediately to the soup along with the salt.
Add the cilantro or mint and garlic and stir through. Ladle into bowls, garnish with extra cilantro or mint, and serve.
Garnishes: Add fun garnishes to suit your dosha such as spring onions, black pepper, extra ghee, sesame seeds, extra spices, chutney, etc.
Coconut Variations: Add 1 cup coconut milk a few minutes before serving. You may need to increase the salt slightly before serving.
Serving Options: You can enjoy dahl with steamed greens, brown rice or quinoa. Sometimes, I will also add a chutney and/or sweet potato chips. I've included some of my favourite garnish options below.
Inspired by Wai Lana
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