The humble dal or lentils are not only the most economical food group when compared to other nutrient-dense foods, but also boast an incredible versatility. Adding legumes to your diet allows you to get more than your money’s worth–dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and folate. These nutrition powerhouses are also an incredible source of energy.
Indians are one of the few people who have wholeheartedly accepted lentils in their daily diets. Dals have become an inevitable and important component of our everyday meal. But why limit the use of lentils to a bowl of dal when there are many other ways to incorporate them into your daily diet. Before you go on to experiment, make sure you’re storing lentils the right way.
Up your health game further by adding lentils to smoothies to increase the protein content and helping you stay fuller for longer.
Watch this Green Moong Idli recipe video:
Here’s a Soybean Salad Recipe starring masoor dal to help you get started:
Lunch and Dinner
Watch this Hindi recipe video to try making the urad dal puri recipe at home.
SnacksFritters and kebabs are a tasty way to use up leftover or unused lentils. Simply mash the cooked lentils together with finely chopped veggies and grated cheese. Convert the mixture into patties and lightly shallow fry, bake or grill until brown on both sides. Serve these stunning appetisers with a dip or sauce of your choice. For a quick snack, try this kala chana sundal recipe. This masoor dal tikki burger could help you satiate your fast food craving, minus the extra calories. Similarly, you could turn your love for bhajiyas or pakodas into a guilt-free indulgence by sneaking the goodness of lentils into them. Try this moong dal pakoda recipe and snack away.
Dips and SpreadsReplace your normal hummus for a more exotic and healthier version made with pureed lentils of your choice. Cook a cup of red or green lentils until they are done. Blend them in a food processor with seasonings, a dash of lemon juice and olive oil, and puree until smooth. You could also throw in some herbs and spices such as cumin, paprika and oregano. For a spicy kick, don’t leave out those chillies, pepper flakes or hot sauce. Take some inspiration from this Moong Dal Hummus recipe and whip your own dips and spreads. Serve your fresh, homemade dip cum spread with toasted garlic bread, nachos, chips or even raw/grilled veggies. To get you started, here's a moong dal hummus recipe by Chef Ranveer Brar. Click here for more hummus recipes.
Desserts and more Don’t restrict the use of lentils only to savoury dishes, they can liven up desserts when used smartly. Use blended or pureed lentils for lentil breads and cake batters, pies, pancakes and waffles, brownies, cookies and other baked goodies. For a desi take on desserts, you could simply add them to your halwas and sheeras, and watch your young ones lick their bowls clean.
Here’s a Bhatt ki Dal ka Halwa video to help you get going:
To feed your hunger for more
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