If you’re thinking that I’ve gone slightly mad, then you are possibly right, except that if you recall this article Glutathione - The Master Antioxidant, garlic, onions and turmeric contain sulphur rich amino acids and polyphenols. These are considered to work alongside the antioxidant glutathione in fighting against aging.
To reap the benefits of antioxidants, I decided to prepare dhal, which is a dish that includes lentils. It is referred to as parippu in South India and Sri Lanka and it really is very easy to make. This is a perfect vegetarian meal as lentils are a source of protein and some carbohydrates.
You don't need to use two different types of lentils. This dish will work well with red lentils alone if you wished, but I really love the nutty texture that chana dal provides in this recipe. Simply delicious!
A very experienced cook also once told me to store cumin seeds in the fridge, keeps it fresh for slightly longer.
125g red split lentils
100g chana dal
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped or 1 tablespoon tomato puree
100ml coconut milk, mixed with 150ml water
2 green chillies, chopped (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sprig of curry leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
Wash lentils thoroughly in cold water. Put them in a non-stick pan and bring to boil with 500ml of water. Add roughly chopped onion, chopped garlic cloves, tomato and coconut milk, green chilli, turmeric, ground cumin, coriander and curry leaves and bring to boil.
Simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked and ‘mushy’. This will take approximately 25 minutes.
Next heat oil in a saucepan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red onion, crushed garlic and curry leaves. Fry over a low heat until the onions are softened and the mustard seeds have popped. Add to the lentil dish.
Season with salt and pepper.
Note – if you prefer, you can substitute the coconut milk with semi-skimmed milk.
Serve with boiled rice. I also love this meal with a chickpea curry and salad.