Recipes for a healthy, wholesome Indian meal: dal with greens, brown rice pilaf, and delicious oven-roasted potatoes.
A friend, Navami, recently asked me to post some Indian vegan recipes that are quick and easy to make. One of the first dishes that jumped to my mind was an old standby that I cook very often, especially when I find a bunch of fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves, in the market.
Methi leaves, like the seeds, are prized in Indian cuisine not just for their unique, mildly bitter taste, but also for their numerous health benefits, including the ability to fight diabetes and cholesterol.
In this dish, the methi teams up with spinach and fresh coriander. The result is not just good for you, but also finger-licking good!To go with the lentils I made a simple but delicious brown rice pilaf and some oven-roasted sweet potatoes (recipes follow).
The whole meal takes just about an hour to prepare- a little more if you are not a multitasker. Hope you enjoy it, dear friend, and here’s to your good health!
Oven-roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Toss the diced sweet potatoes in the chili powder, turmeric, salt and olive oil. Place in a hot 350-degree oven and let it cook until crisp, about 30-40 minutes.
Brown Rice Pilaf
- In a large saucepan with an oven-safe handle and lid, heat canola oil. Add cumin seeds and let them sputter.
- Add brown rice and toss until coated with oil and the rice starts to turn opaque.
- Add water and salt, if using.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the rice-water mixture comes to a boil, transfer the pan to the oven. Let it cook, undisturbed, for about 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let stand another 10 minutes before serving. Fluff with a fork to separate grains.
Dal with Greens
- 1 bunch Methi leaves , minced
- 1 bunch Spinach leaves , minced
- 1 small bunch coriander leaves , minced
- 1 cup yellow split peas (tuvar dal)
- 2 green chilies , slit
- 2 medium tomatoes , diced, or 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- 6 large cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- In a pressure cooker or a large saucepan with a tight lid, combine the leafy greens, coriander, split peas, chilies and tomatoes. Add about 3 cups of water and salt to taste. Cook until the lentils are mushy and the greens are tender.
- Mash the lentils and greens with the back of a ladle until well-mixed.
- Heat canola oil.
- Add garlic and saute for a minute until it starts to brown and you get the aroma of garlic. Add to the lentils and warm through. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Serve hot with brown rice pilaf.
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