Thursday, January 4

Lentil dhal to the rescue

After the indulgences of the holidays I crave simple and wholesome food, and what better staple to use for some quick and tasty dinners than the humble lentil? Lentils absorb flavours really easily, which make them incredibly versatile. And since they are packed full of minerals, vitamins and protein with hardly any fat, they are also very good for you. The high fibre content helps lower cholesterol and stabilises blood sugar. And at only 230 kcal for every cup of cooked lentils you can’t go wrong.

One of my absolute favourite lentil recipes is a red lentil dhal that I have adapted from my trusty kitchen companion, Patrick Holford’s Low GL Diet Cookbook. Are your cupboards looking bare? Check; too tired to cook? Check; spent all your money and your only half-way through the month? Check. This dhal is your knight in shining armour. It will save you every time.

Lentil dhal
Serves 4

300 g red lentils, rinsed and drained
600 ml water
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tsp reduced salt vegetable bouillon powder (Marigold is great)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 heaped tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper

Put the lentils, water, onion, garlic and bouillon powder in a pot. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and spices, stir well. Cover and let simmer for another 20 minutes or so. Stir occasionally to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and if it gets too dry just add a little bit more water. If it looks too runny, simple remove the lid for a while.

If you want to stick to a low GL meal serve it with ½ wholemeal pitta bread or some quinoa; otherwise rice or some nice crusty bread would go nicely.

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