In the first of our new recipe blogs, Mia (Aka, The Travelling Vegan) makes her debut sharing one of her most popular dishes from around the world. Mia's Delicious Vegan Dahl is packed full of nutrition, flavour and colour, and is very simple to make.
More About Mia and her Soulful Food...
Hi, I'm Mia, veg and fruit lover extraordinaire. My plant-based journey started with a love for this planet and everyone who's living on it. Through travel, experimenting, and a lot of curiosity, I have discovered just how easy, accessible, and simple (yet diverse, tasty and nutritious!) vegan food can be. It is very important to me that my diet supports all my nutritional needs, and so my recipes focus on finding ways to this this whilst also tasting scrumptious!
What I love the most about cooking is the community aspect of it. The joy and comfort of gathering and sharing – how it brings everyone together. My regular recipes and posts are to do just this! I will be sharing my favourite tasty and healthy vegan meals and treats with you. And I hope that you will enjoy looking after yourself by eating them, and of course sharing them with your own tribe, large or small.
Wishing you lots of love, health and happiness, Mia xx
DELICIOUS VEGAN DAHL - why is it so good?!
On a grey day there’s nothing more rewarding than to sit down with a bowl of homemade goodness. On days like these, my Delicious Vegan Dahl has always been one of my go-to meals. And the nutritious boost can’t fail to do everyone good!
It requires little preparation and once all the ingredients are in the pot, it just “does its own thing”. With this heartwarming dish, the spices play the most important role. They are the at the centre of this dish, making it a flavourful, wholesome and nutritious experience, and bringing plenty of Ayurvedic Indian healing properties to your bowl.
In Ayurvedic Medicine, plant-based celluloses are recommended as the very best primary source of high quality fibre for our regular diet. So the veggies included (like Butternut Squash, Carrots and Sweet Potato) are perfect for this. Fibre helps to reduce inflammation, and plays an important role in balancing our gut.
The star of my Delicious Vegan Dahl is undoubtedly the humble (yet wonderful!) lentil, which is a great source of vitamins A, B and C, as well as calcium and protein. Split Red Lentils, in particular, help support excellent heart health, boost energy and prevent spikes in blood sugar levels after a meal.
In addition, the oil in turmeric root has been found to have an excellent anti-flammatory effect (and turmeric supplementation has grown hugely in the last couple of years reflecting this!). It is helpful to reduce allergic reactions on the skin because of its beta-carotene, enzymes, copper and magnesium. Both the turmeric and the ginger offer benefits to your wellbeing in terms of supporting digestive ailments, menstrual and circulatory problems.
The scrumptious optional toppings not only add extra minerals and nutrients, but also bring in different textures and dimensions to the meal, making it even more satisfying for our sensory brain too.
This makes my Delicious Vegan Dahl a fantastic all-rounder, great at any time of year, beautifully helping to support your physical and mental wellbeing.
(Serves approx. 3 hungry herbivores – for double the people or to cook in batches, just double the quantity)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 walnut sized piece of ginger - finely chopped or grated
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper powder
½ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp fine salt (or to taste as required)
4-5 coriander seeds (if you have them available)
½ can of light coconut milk
1 cup washed split red lentils (if you are not using tinned lentils, you will need to have soaked these in advance to soften)
1 onion chopped finely into cubes
1 clove of garlic – chopped or crushed
2 large handfuls of chopped seasonal veggies of your choice or whatever is in your fridge (my favourites for this are root veg such as carrot, butternut or sweet potato)
- Start by making the Dahl Paste: mix together all the ‘Dahl paste ingredients’ in a small bowl, or use a mortar and pestle, to combine. Keep mixing until they are well combined together.
- Once the mixture is smooth, place it into a cooking pot on medium heat for a few moments, until slightly browned.
- Add the chopped/crushed garlic and the onion to the pan along with a dash of water. Gently allow the onions to soften.
- When onions are soft, add the soaked lentils and all liquids (1 ½ cups of water, ½ can coconut milk). Stir together and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Once boiling, stir in your desired vegetables.
- Turn down the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let it simmer for 15-18 minutes, ensuring that you are stirring occasionally, adding water to desired consistency if needed.
- Once the mixture reaches a nice creamy consistency, it is done!
You can serve my Delicious Vegan Dahl with brown rice or naan bread, or just enjoy a bowl by itself.
Top with your choice of… fresh coriander, beansprouts, chutney, roasted coconut flakes, black and white sesame (some or all!).