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Dal Tadka (Lentil Curry)

 Lentils are a healthy carbohydrate that give a power punch of fibre and protein; a best friend to those eating for optimum health or trying to lose weight. They are also Gluten Free!  Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, Coriander aids digestion, Cumin is effective in increasing insulin sensitivity and mustard seeds are a good source of selenium. This easy and flavour packed dish has become a favourite… and its easy to see and taste why!


Hint: Prepare all the ingredients first as this simple dish cooks fast.



1 cup red lentils                         1 tsp turmeric

2 1/2 cup water                         Olive oil (optional)


Rinse and drain lentils until water runs clear. Place in a medium pot with water and turmeric. Place a few drops olive oil on top of water, do not stir in. This helps with foaming and boil over. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until lentils are soft, adding more water if needed.

While lentils are cooking prepare Tadka.



1-2 TBSP Ghee (or olive oil)                    1 1/2 tsp mashed garlic (or fine mince)

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds                             1 1/2 tsp mashed ginger (or fine mince)

1 tsp mustard seeds                                1 tsp amchor powder (mango powder)

1 dried red chili (or some chili flakes)      1 tsp turmeric

1 large onion- fine dice                           1/2 tsp coriander

2 tomatoes- diced                                   1/8 tsp hot red chili powder (omit for mild or add more for heat)


Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)


Heat ghee (or oil) in fry pan over medium heat. When hot add cumin seed and mustard seed… when then they start to sizzle and smell fragrant, and the mustard seed starts to pop add in the red chili and onion. (feel free to add a bit of water to this mixture at any time to prevent burning) Fry onion until soft then add garlic and ginger. Continue to fry until lightly golden. Add tomato, amchor, turmeric, coriander and hot chili powder. Continue cooking until tomato is soft. Mash slightly with fork.



When lentils have finished cooking stir in the Tadka and continue to simmer for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. Crush some kasoori Methi in hands and stir into the curry. Serve on its own for Phase 1 or  with basmati rice (Phase 2).


NOTES: Don’t feel set back by the few ingredients you may not recognize. Ghee is clarified butter, you can make this on your own or it can be purchased. It adds an authentic flavour you can’t obtain with oil but the dish will be successful using olive oil in placement. Kesoori Methi which was explained to me as simply an east indian parsley and amchor I bought in the east indian isle at SuperStore or I have seen them at east indian grocers. You won’t regret finding these ingredients and the amazing flavour they add to the finished dish.

Created by LiveWell Consultant Michelle McGeorge. Once again, thank you for sharing your fabulous recipe with our readers.


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