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Wellbody Recipe: Rich Creamy Dal (Fat-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free)
Golden with turmeric and fragrant with spices, this creamy soup gets its richness from long-simmered legumes and sweetly caramelized onions rather than fatty dairy products.
A staple comfort food—and affordable protein—for millions of people in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the rippling diaspora, the soupy stew (called dal in Hindi) is often eaten with rice or flatbread making a complete protein nutritionaly comparable to meat. Free of dairy, gluten, added sugars and animal fats, dal is high in fiber, rich in B vitamins including thiamine and folic acid and an excellent source of iron and zinc.
Because of the protein and fiber, it has good staying power, so helps stave off post-meal snack urges. Excellent accompaniment to salad.
You can make dal with yellow pigeon peas, split chickpeas (Chana dal), yellow split peas, dried mung beans, black-eyed peas, red lentils, kidney beans or legume combinations. Though dried, these legumes are all relatively small with simmer times under an hour or so. Once you start simmering the dried legume with the turmeric, resist the urge to stir. This is not risotto! Let the legumes fall apart on their own.
Here’s a dal recipe to start you off, but feel free to adapt, improvise and explore by typing “dal recipe” in your search engine.
Let us know how it goes and please share your favorite dal recipes with us by commenting below or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Double the recipe and freeze the leftovers in small, single-serve mason jars. (Don’t fill to the top or the jar may crack when the liquid expands as it freezes.) Grab a jar from the freezer to take to school or work. Microwave for a warm, satisfying lunch.