Autumn is all about comfort food, and when it comes to a quick dinner on a rainy day, there’s nothing more comforting than hearty Indian dhal. As I’m trying to reduce the salt intake, I play a lot with spices, and turmeric is one I always find a way to add. This Ayurvedic spice is a must have ingredient in every pantry, because of its amazing healing properties.
Known for its warm, peppery and slightly bitter flavor, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse that’s been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries. Turmeric’s yellow phytonutrient called curcumin gives the spice its intense yellow color and its renowned antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits.
Turmeric is used for treating a variety of conditions, from menstrual difficulties and inflammatory bowel disease to chronic diseases like cancer (especially colon and prostate cancer and leukemia) and cystic fibrosis. I use turmeric especially for stimulating the natural detox function of the body cells and the liver’s detoxifying enzymes, including the glutathione-S-transferase.
The effects of curcumin are catalyzed when combined with piperine, the active substance in black pepper, so always add freshly ground black pepper to your turmeric spiced dishes.
Healing Turmeric and Red Lentils Dhal
A hearty and comforting autumn dish with red lentils, using the healing powers of anti-inflammatory superstar turmeric.
- 2 cups red lentils
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 inch ginger piece, peeled and grated
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Coconut milk, mixed seeds and fresh parsley leaves, to garnish
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse the red lentils with cold water and let drain.
- In a medium saucepan heat the coconut oil, add the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric, and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the lentils and water, bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add garam masala and coconut milk and mix to combine.
- Let simmer for another five minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and you obtain a porridge consistency.
- Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley leaves, mixed seeds and a few drops of coconut milk.