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Old Age the time you need proteins as well as fibre in your meal but at the same time need light and good tasting meals. Marry the proteins of dal or lentils and fibre of vegetables in one dish. Vegetables with Dal and you are all set for a full Indian meal that you can have with rice or chapatti. But then tastes great all by itself.
Before we head to the recipe a little about lentils… as I am after all doing a series On Simple Vegetarian Food in Old Age as a part of #Cooking Carnival.
Lentils are pulses of the legume family, which grow in pods generally containing two seeds each. They grow on bushy plants annually and according to Wikipedia have an explosive number of types! They have a variety of colours from yellow and green, to brown and black. They also come in different sizes and may be purchased with or without skin, or even, whole or split.
Another ancient in the crop history, lentils have been in consumption nearly 9500 to 13000 years ago. In ancient Iran, it was part of a regular diet in the form of a stew poured over rice. In Italy and Hungary on the other hand, it is part of a special celebratory meal for New Years. They believe that the coin-like form can bring about a prosperous new year. Yet in Jewish culture, the round form is considered to symbolise the cycle of life and death and is served to mourners.
In the Indian subcontinent, lentil curry is a popular staple served with either rice or roti (or both!). Lentils are also used to Stuff Dal Parathas. Regional varieties of sweets also occasionally incorporate lentils while lentil stock is used to thicken vegetarian curries.
However, in my opinion, the best legacy of this pulse is that the word “lens” in optics was derived from the word “lentil” due to the resemblance of a double convex lens to lentils. Lentil is “lens” in Latin.
Lentils are high in protein and fibre. It is useful against several lifestyle diseases like heart problems, diabetes, obesity, and skin and hair problems. Lentils provide many important vitamins and minerals in addition to proteins that can replace meat in a regular diet. This reduces the consumption of saturated fat and replaces it with fibre. Further, the potassium, calcium, and magnesium reduce blood pressure issues. Lentils also provide for folate, which is important for a healthy pregnancy. Lentils can also help fight fatigue and improve the functioning of the digestive tract.
Vegetables with Dal
- Masoor dal 1 cup
- Oil 2 tbsp
- Jeera/ cumin seeds 1 tsp
- Dhania/ coriander seeds 1 tsp
- Hing/asafetida ½ tsp
- Red chilli 1 chopped
- French beans 1 cup, chopped and blanched
- Capsicum 1, chopped (I used ½ red and yellow)
- Baby corn 1 cup sliced
- Carrot 1 sliced
- Water 2/3 cup
- Tomatoes 2, chopped
- Coriander leaves 1 tbsp
- Rinse and boil the masoor dal. It becomes tender in 15-20 minutes. Drain and reserve the water.
- Heat oil in a kadhai/wok.
- Add the cumin seeds and coriander seed powder, hing. Add the red chilli too.
- Add the French beans, baby corn and carrot cook for about 2 minutes. Stir constantly.
- Measure and add the reserved water, should be about 2/3 cup else add water to bring up to 2/3 cup.
- Let the vegetables simmer till tender about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the masoor dal in the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and heat and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Since we do not like out capsicum cooked I added them just before serving. You can add them with the tomatoes and heat them.
- Serve immediately sprinkled with coriander leaves.