LENTIL DAL (DHAL)
A satisfying and tasty meal, dal is made with various types of pulse, usually lentils, which when cooked become soft and the pulse breaks down to a thick sauce-like texture. This recipe utilizes dal prepared with a red lentil (known as masoor dal) that when cooked becomes yellow and fairly smooth. (If using Indian chick peas (Chana dal) the cooking time needs to be longer and the peas pre-soaked.)
Nutritionally, dal is a good carbohydrate source for energy while being almost fat-free. It is an excellent source of protein. It is also rich in B vitamins such thiamine and folic acid and minerals iron and zinc. This version adds tomato for some acidity and robustness as well as spices for flavour. Serve over rice or with naan. Can be served with curried vegetables and thick yoghurt. Use any left-over dal as a base for a hearty soup.
Option: Add garam masala and make it as spicy as you like! Add more side dishes to serve a larger meal with the dal, such as vegetables, rice pilau*, raita*, chapatis*.
*These recipes are available in The Yoga Cookbook.
1 cup red split lentils – rinsed
3 1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin or fennel seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ to 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Simmer the lentils in a pan with the water and turmeric and bay leaf. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes or longer, until the lentils break down and become tender and soft. Generally it is recommended to cook the lentils slowly and with low heat so the lentils do not brown at the bottom of the pan. Stir the lentils as they become thick and soupy and reduce the heat further.
Meanwhile heat ghee, butter or oil in a heavy skillet.
Add the mustard and cumin or fennel seeds and cook over high heat until they “pop”.
Add the ground coriander and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes longer, then add the mixture to the cooked lentils.
Add more water if the mixture is too thick, or cook a little longer to make it thicker.
Add salt and lemon juice, if desired.
Retain the fresh flavour and bright green colour of the cilantro by stirring it in the dal at the end of cooking time and serving the dal at once.
This recipe is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram, sourced from The Yoga Cookbook: “Food for Body and Mind – Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres” – 1999.
No words can describe the supreme experience, when the Yogi feels one with God. – Sri Swami Sivananda
The Karma of the individual determines the form or shape of the experience in this World. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SAKSHI – Witness
NIMITTA – Cause; Instrument
BHAV – Feeling; perception; direct experience; mental attitude; subjective state of being; attitude of mind; state of realization in the heart or mind; a right feeling and frame of mind; right intention; right imagination; right mental disposition; purity of thought. Bhava is a Sanskrit term; there is no proper equivalent in English. It means mental attitude or mental disposition. Bhava is internal feeling. There are three kinds of Bhavas, viz., Sattvic Bhava, Rajasic Bhava and Tamasic Bhava according to the nature of the quality that predominates in man. Sattvic Bhava is divine Bhava. It is Suddha Bhava. Just as thought or memory or will can be cultivated or developed by practice, so also, Bhava can be developed.
Sakshi Bhav – The attitude of remaining as a witness.
Nimitta Bhav – The attitude of performing as an instrument of God. A devotee that always thinks that God does everything and they are only an instrument (Nimitta), directed by the hands of God, then this is Nimitta Bhava. The Bhavas of a Bhakta and a Vedantin differ. The Vedantin entertains Sakshi and Akarta Bhavas. The Bhakta entertains Nimitta Bhava. The Vedantin develops Brahma Bhava. The Bhakta develops Dasya Bhava, and so on.
If anyone injures you, forgive and forget the injury done. You will gain immense spiritual strength. – Sri Swami Sivananda