Chopra Center Dahl

Source: Food, Ayurveda and Wholeness, The Chopra Center for Well Being by Leanne Baker, Exec. Chef.


Prepare this dish using any legume you wish: green lentils, brown lentils, French lentils, red lentils, yellow and green split peas, mung bean or split mung beans:

  • 2 cups (or 1 pound) dry lentils or legumes (see list above), clean and sort.

  • Enough vegetable stock or water to cover lentils, plus 3 inches.

Add the following 4 items to the legumes while simmering:

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

  • ½ tsp. asafetida

  • ½ tsp. turmeric

  • Kombu (seaweed) – one inch piece.

These items will be sauted for a few minutes:

  • 2 TBL good oil or ghee.

  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds.

  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom

  • ½ tsp. red chili flakes

  • 2 sticks cinnamon or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup leeks or onions, chopped

  • 2 inches fresh ginger, finely chopped or 1 tsp. ground

  • ½ cup golden raisins, chopped

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water (more or less as needed)

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin (yes, another one)

  • ½ tsp. asafetida (yes, another one)

  • ½ tsp. turmeric (yes, another one)

  • 2 tsp. ground corriander

  • 2 TBL tomato paste

  • Salt (or Bragg's Liquid Aminos) & Pepper to taste

  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

  • 15 oz can of coconut milk

  1. Bring legumes to a boil until the foam rises. Remove foam from top. Reduce heat to simmer.

  2. Add the special 4 items to the simmering legumes (helps to reduce gas).

  3. In a medium-high frying pan heat the oil with the mustard seeds until the seeds begin to pop.

  4. Then add to the frying pan: fenugreek seeds, ground cardamom, red chili flakes, cinnamon, onions or leeks, ginger, and raisins. Saute a few minutes.

  5. Now add all of the remaining ingredients (except cilantro and coconut milk) to the frying pan and saute for another few minutes. Remove pan from heat.

  6. After legumes are cooked, drain the water then add the contents of the frying pan to the pot. Adjust the consistency with vegetable stock then heat everything to serving temperature. Salt & Pepper to taste.

  7. Add cilantro and coconut milk to the finished dahl.

  8. Serve with rice or quinoa.

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