Recipes

Ten reasons why dhal (spicy legume soup) is my superfood; and my recipe!

guyanese-style-dhal

I love dhal. I make a giant pot of it on the weekend and eat at least one bowl every day. It is my superfood and it’s delicious. You can make dhal (or dal) so many different ways. I base mine from a Guyanese recipe, and I like it very spicy. But I make it with no pepper too and it’s just as good.

This vegan and gluten-free dish is super low in calorie, high in fiber and a good source of protein.

There are 10 sources to improve health in dhal – and they are the reasons why this is my superfood. Some of the health benefits of the ingredients include weight management, heart, and digestive health, and boosted immunity. The full nutrition and health benefits are listed below the recipe.

Some recipes use lentils. I make it both ways, but for some reason, I prefer it with spit peas.

Note: This is spicy to very spicy unless you cut down or omit the peppers

Dhal recipe

Spices, spicy, seasonings in wooden box, top view. Black grunge

Makes: 6 servings
Total time: 1 and a half hours, cook time: 1 hour and 10 minutes, prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt or to your preference
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1-2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1-3 habanero, wiri-wiri or chili peppers, omit the pepper if you don’t want it spicy. I use 3 habanero peppers because they’re hotter.

Note: If you want to use lentils instead of split peas, use 6 cups of water instead of 8 or it will be too thin and watery.

Directions

garlic-onions

  1. Rinse split peas and set them aside.
  2. Chop onion, garlic, tomato and peppers.
  3. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil (can be done at the same time you are doing steps 1 and 2).
  4. Add split peas, onion, garlic, tomato, peppers and olive oil (if using) to boiling water.
  5. Add spices and salt (I like a bit more salt in my food, so I start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed).
  6. Boil peas for 45 minutes until peas are soft to the touch. Blend with hand blender to achieve a smooth texture.  Return to a slow boil for another 15-20 minutes until it gets slightly thick.
  7. Turn heat off when you have reached your desired texture.
  8. In a very small pot or pan, heat oil and fry the whole cumin seeds until they become slightly burnt.  Immediately add it to the dhal.

Important: Be careful to cover the pot as you add the fried cumin seeds, as the hot oil will steam when it hits the dhal.

Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

  • Calories:132 g
  • Fat: 5.2 g or 2.4 g without 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Ten health benefits

peppers-and-coriander

  1. Split peas: Help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and support heart and digestive health.
  2. Hot pepper: Protects against stress and certain diseases, help with weight and pain management, and inflammation.
  3. Tomatoes: Are an antioxidant and improve heart and bone health.
  4. Cumin: Improves immunity, skin and anemia and helps with respiratory disorders.
  5. Turmeric: Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  6. Garam masala: Helps boost immunity, promotes weight and pain management, and helps with heart burn and stomach pains.
  7. Curry powder: protects against Alzheimer’s and assists in digestion.
  8. Garlic: Improves blood pressure, cholesterol, and immunity, and helps reduce stress
  9. Onions: Improve bone density and cardiovascular functioning, and is an anti-inflammatory.
  10. Cilantro (coriander): Is an antioxidant.

 

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48 comments

  1. This Dhal from Guyana seems like the Dal of India. It is almost the same. In India, they make use of the grams for making these. Had one of these in a hotel while in Delhi.

    1. It is very similar, the origin was from India. Guyanese food is influenced from the people that live there, mostly from India, Africa, Portugal, China and Indigenous. I love it made from anywhere! They are all so good and healthy!

      1. Thats right- all these are very healthy. In India, these Dals are main source of protein for people who do not eat non-veg. I do not know to what extent this makes up for the lack of non-veg food in diet, but people eat these on almost daily basis.

  2. Wow, thanks for the recipe and the nutritional breakdown. This looks amazing and I can’t wait until my next trip to the grocery store! I believe I will try this with lentils instead. By the way, love the pictures.

    1. Thanks so much. I appreciate it! Let me know what you think if you try it. Lentils will cut the time down a lot. Less water will make it heartier and less runny. I use 5 cups to start and then add more if needed with lentils after blending it. Have a great day 🙂

    1. I have it everyday too for lunch! I can’t eat Ghee anymore 🙁 But I heard there is a vegetable Ghee now, I just haven’t found it yet. I wonder if the taste is the same. Have a wonderful day!

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