INDIAN FOOD – one of both our favourite cuisines. Great for vegans too. Indian food can be super tasty AND great for the body if it’s made healthily! Lentils are an Indian must, a GREAT source of vegan protein, rich in fibre and folate (B12), plus potassium AND magnesium. The underrated superfood!
- FIBRE is so important in our diets, especially for athletes. It can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and even some cancers, and also improves digestive health massively. Making it a MUST. Other sources of fibre include: beans, wholegrain and wholemeal, brown or wholegrain rice, pulses, nuts, potato – (the skin is the important bit, so keep it on!), Dried fruit & bran based cereal.
- FOLATE & B12 is also just as important, with many people (especially vegans unfortunately) lacking in it. Folate plays an important role in the production of red and white blood cells. It also helps the body make DNA and other genetic material & needed to make our body’s cells divide. Other sources include: dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, legumes such as chickpeas, beans and of course lentils. It is also important for vegans to get a good source of B12. Low B12 intake can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. We use a slow releasing B12 supplement daily.
- MAGNESIUM. Magnesium is so important for muscular and nervous system activity, and also for our bone structure. It is crucial to nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, energy production, nutrient metabolism and bone and cell formation. Magnesium actually helps regulate the metabolism of other minerals (make them work for our bodies); PLUS it controls the uptake of substances like: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, vitamin C and zinc! Magnesium sources include: dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, avocados, bananas, dried fruit, & dark chocolate (any excuse to have some chocolate, right!?)
SO, there you have it. Lentils. The underrated legume that is packed full of the good stuff we all need. Plus, just one cup of lentils packs in a huge 18 grams of protein and 37% of your daily value of iron, we know how important iron is!
TARKA DHAL RECIPE:
?For the Dhal:
250g chana dhal (yellow dried split peas), rinsed well
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 level tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 level tsp turmeric
2 bay leaves
?For the tarka:
2tbsps coconut oil
½ level tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
?Boil 1 litre of water and add the chana dhal, garlic, ginger, turmeric and bay leaves. Return the mixture to the boil and skim off any scum from the top. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer the mixture for 45-60 mins, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.
?To make the tarka, heat the oil or ghee in a pan, then add the cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds. Add the onion, garlic and chilli to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 mins, or until the onion has softened. Remove the pan from the heat.
? If the dhal mixture is still runny, remove the pan lid and increase the heat to reduce the liquid, stirring well.
?Once the dhal has softened and is almost smooth, season with salt. Serve with the tarka spooned on top.