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The World of Dals and Lentils - Versatile


An Ancient Jewel

Beans and Lentils have been found in 5,000 year old settlements in Mesopotamia, in Egyptian pyramids, and in even earlier civilizations like Peruvian Indians, Middle Eastern and East Indian civilizations. Even today lentils are produced and consumed mainly in these regions

The use of lentils all over the world is growing as people get more interested in low fat diets, international cuisine, use of more herbs, spices, seasonings and in environmentally good foods.

Wonder Food
Legumes are wonder foods as they are low in fat and absorb the flavor of spices and herbs, making them fun and tasty to eat. Lentils have been the main source of protein for people in many cultures all over the world.
Beans and other legumes have all the nutrients now recognized as important in preventing heart disease, cancer and obesity. They are high in complex carbohydrates, protein and fiber and they are extremely low in fat.

Is this made of lentils too?
There are many many varieties of beans and lentils and there are myraid ways of cooking lentils such as desserts, snacks, savories, crepes (dosas), curries, kebabs, soups, hummus like dips, stews, spice podis, salads, rice/lentil pilafs and using it as a spice or the main ingredient.

Moong Dal Spinach
Ingredients:
1 cup yellow moong dal
1 bunch fresh spinach chopped fine
1 tsp. ginger grated
1/2 tsp. garlic grated
4 green chillies
1 tbsp. coriander powder
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. clove-cinnamon powder.
1/2 tsp. each cumin and mustard seeds
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Brown or whilte sugar
2 tbsp. ghee
Method:
Wash dal and pressure till don or cook dal until done. Cool and set aside.
Wash and drain spinach.
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. ghee. Add seeds and splutter.
Add garlic, chilies, ginger and chopped spinach. Stir. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add dal and coriander powder. Bring to a boil. Do not overcook.
Remove from heat.
Heat remaining ghee in a small pan.
Add clove cinnamon powder, remaining 2 chillies and pour over dal.
Add lemon juice and salt. Stir well.
Serve hot with rice or flat bread.

 © Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita Mehta

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