All you need is love (& dal)


You know that saying “please grant me coffee to change the things I can … And yoga to accept the things I cannot”?

That rings true for me – I pretty much soak myself in coffee at the start of each morning, and use all that caffeinated energy to get me through whatever the day brings. And then at night yoga & meditation help to slow me down, loosen tight muscles and still my wired brain.

Except lately yoga hasn’t been helping… mainly because I haven’t been doing it.

The class I love to go to is at 6:30pm – hardly ideal if you want to get your darling wee barbarians fed & to bed at a reasonable hour. But today I made the commitment that I would get to the class.

The only catch was I had to make dinner for the fam before I left.

Fortunately I had Vegan Richa and her delicious Masoor Seddho Dal (Bengali Red Lentil Soup) from her fantastic book Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen (2015 Vintage Heritage Press) on my side. 


Vegan Richa’s recipes are simple to prepare and amazingly tasty – they’re also brilliant as you can make them earlier in the day (or even the day before – but let’s face it that level of preparedness was never going to happen here…).

So while the little one was napping I pulled dinner together. First I rinsed & picked through a cup of red lentils (actually, mine were mixed through with yellow split peas as that’s all I had in the pantry – it still worked really well).


Then in a saucepan I covered the lentils with 3 cups of water and added a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion and 1 finely chopped tomato*. After mixing well I partially covered the pan and put it over medium heat to cook for 25 minutes.


When that time was up I added two teaspoons of lemon juice, a teaspoon of canola oil & one teaspoon of seeded mustard – it’s important to note that the last ingredient appears nowhere in Vegan Richa’s recipe. However, I didn’t have the mustard oil or mustard powder that she called for & so made the executive decision that seeded mustard would pass at a pinch. I know, I know it’s sacrilegious – but all was forgiven as the dish still tasted sensational.


A further 10 minutes or so of cooking and that’s it, it was done. I added a little lemon juice & diced onion when I served it, and our sides were Basmati rice, baby spinach salad, popadoms and some turmeric chutney (it’s important to note that these sides have probably never been seen next to a Bengali dal before … however, I’ve found that arguments about cultural and culinary consonance don’t carry much weight with the kids 😉).

#vegan #kidfriendlyvegan #mindfuleating #wholefood #veganricha #dal

  
*Vegan Richa’s recipe also calls for 3 green chiles to be added at this stage – I omitted it as the kids don’t like heat. I had thought I’d add some chili paste at the end for the adults but found it tangy and satisfying without.

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