Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tomato & Mushoom Mhung Dhal

This low fat, high protein meal is Indian inspired. The Mhung Dhal is a type of lentil used for curries in India. I do not know how to use it authentically, but here’s a low fat tasty method of cooking it, Serena-Style, high on spicy flavour and low on calories. It truly is a life saver when caught in the ‘same food cycle’ when trying to diet mid-week. You just simply get sick of the same ole dinners day-in, day-out.

This Dhal will literally put the spice back into the mid-week diet. I’ve made double to have for lunch the following day. In India they normally have their dhal with rice, but I’m going to try to keep those proteins high by having this Dhal with some grilled spicy chicken breast.  I know that some goes against a lot of the Indian vegetarian cooking rules, but I do not claim to be cooking an authentic indian meal, simply using inspiration from the healthier parts of the Indian cuisine to make low fat dieting more interesting for me. I’ve sourced the mhung dhal from the health food store, but this recipe can easily be used using yellow spilt peas or red lentils.

·         100g of mhung dhal lentils or yellow/red lentils
·         1 tbsp of grapeseed oil
·         1 clove of garlic, chopped
·         1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
·         1 onion, sliced
·         1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
·         1 tsp of ground cumin
·         1 tsp of ground coriander
·         1 tsp of turmeric
·         Salt and pepper
·         300ml chicken/vegetable stock
·         8 mushrooms, sliced
·         1 red pepper, sliced
·         4 tomatoes, quartered
·         3 tbsp of chopped coriander


1.       Get a saucepan of stock on the boil and add the lentils and cook according to packet instructions (average 15 minutes)
2.       In a frying pan, add the oil, garlic, ginger, chilli and onion.
3.       Add the spices and fry for a few minutes.
4.       Add the mushrooms, pepper and tomatoes and fry well, then put to the side until the lentils are cooked.
5.       Drain the lentils well, add them to the frying pan and put back on the heat.
6.       Mix in well and add salt and pepper.
7.       Use a potato masher to crush a bit of the lentils, and then stir in the chopped herbs.
8.       Serve with basmati rice, or (a grilled chicken breast like me!).

(Saag Aloo [Potato & spinach] is another Indian meal in need of a low fat makeover, that would be an ideal accompaniement to the above Dhal!)


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