Red lentils, yellow split peas, and mung beans give this traditional Indian dish a lovely golden color. To simplify the recipe, you could just make it with 1 cup of a single dried lentil or split pea. Split peas are also members of the high-protein legume family, along with beans and lentils.
YIELD: SERVES 4
⅓ cup dried red lentils
⅓ cup dried split yellow or green peas
⅓ cup dried split mung beans
3 Tbs. melted butter, ghee, or vegetable oil, divided
2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger, divided
1 tsp. ground turmeric
4 cups baby spinach leaves (4 oz.)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped (1½ cups)
1 tsp. garam masala
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1 large tomato, diced
Cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
- Rinse and drain lentils, split peas, and mung beans; place in large bowl, and cover with hot water. Soak 30 minutes. Drain.
- Combine drained lentil mixture, 1 Tbs. butter, 1 Tbs. ginger, turmeric, and 6 cups water in saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer 1 hour, or until legumes are very soft. Whisk with wire whisk to break up lentils. Add spinach and salt, cover, and simmer 10 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbs. butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until seeds darken. Add onion, garam masala, and cayenne, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions soften and begin to brown. Stir in garlic and remaining 1 Tbs. ginger; cook 1 minute. Add tomato, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until tomato releases juices and most of liquid has evaporated.
- Stir tomato mixture into lentil mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; garnish with cilantro, if using.
MAKE IT VEGAN Use vegetable or coconut oil in place of the ghee.
Protein: 14 g
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Carbohydrates: 42 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Sodium: 716 mg
Fiber: 14 g
Sugar: 6 g