On a recent Sunday afternoon, I was pretty down in the dumps. I had gotten a phone call from my father and he had given me some bad news. Everyone knows that times like these call for some comfort food.
In general, comfort food consists of macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, or mashed potatoes. All of which are big no-no’s for a vegan diet. So, I looked through the kitchen to see what I could eat that might make me feel a little comforted.
In the past I’ve used a recipe from Whole Foods for Indian Dal which is delicious! Since I had the ingredients, I decided to go ahead and make it. Served over brown rice, it is warm, heavy, and comforting. I love that I found a new comfort food that is vegan, healthy, and easy to make!
Following is the Whole Foods recipe for Indian Dal.
Nutritious and flavorful, with added heat from a jalapeño, this recipe is an ideal choice for a quick evening meal. Dal is one of the principal foods of the Indian subcontinent where the term can be used to mean either an ingredient or the dish made from it. If using green or black beluga lentils instead of red, the cooking time should be increased by 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over a bed of brown rice.
2 cups red lentils (I have also used green but I find that red is the way to go)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (this particular day I had only ½ a yellow onion so I added ½ a red onion as well)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (I used ground cumin)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I find that cardamom is really expensive I skip this because I can’t justify spending that much on a spice)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
4 cups vegetable broth (I have used 2 cups water and 2 cups broth, it tastes much better with all broth)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, with their juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Salt to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
Spread lentils out on a sheet tray and pick through to remove any stones or debris. Rinse lentils and drain well.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, cardamom, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, cilantro, turmeric, salt and jalapeno and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer, stirring often, until lentils are soft, about 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Per serving (about 11oz/302g-wt.): 300 calories (60 from fat), 6g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium, 43g total carbohydrate (10g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 18g protein