Dr. Padma Garvey

The plant-based Doctor Mom 

Tomatoes with lentils and garlic

There are more vegetarians in India than anywhere else in the world.  Vegetarianism has been practiced in India on a wide scale since 6 century BC.  This means that the food knowledge and techniques of this region are worth learning.  If you are newly adopting a plant-based diet, don't reinvent the wheel.  There are some classic food combinations that will satisfy you and provide good nutrition.  One such classic combination is dal (lentils) and rice.

Lentils with Tomatoes and Garlic

Toor dal is a popular lentil used in Indian cooking.  You can find toor dal as well as the rest of the ingredients in this recipe in any Indian grocery store.   If you can't find an Indian grocery store, you can use green or yellow split peas for this recipe.  Split peas can be found in any American grocery store.                                                       

take 3/4 cup of toor dal and roast ina skillet until they are golden in color.  Also you should be able to smell the aroma.  If you are using green or yellow split peas instead, then you don't have to toast them first.  Place the toor dal or the split peas in a sturdy metal container with a lid, place 2 and 1/2 cups of water, cover, and cook in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes.  Then take pressure cooker off of heat and wait for pressure to dissipate completely before removing dal.

While you are waiting for the toor dal to finish in the pressure cooker, place a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add one teaspoon of oil, and add the following in order of appearance:  one tablespoon of black mustard seeds.  As the seeds begin to heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, two dried red chilies, and two dashes of hingh powder.  When the black mustard seeds start to pop, add three minced cloves of garlic, two finely diced jalapenos, and two finely diced tomatoes.  Add 1/4 tsp salt, four curry leaves, and mix well.  Cover and let cook until tomatoes are mushy.  Add the cooked lentils to the tomato mixture.  Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, mix well and let cook for ten minutes.  Add salt to taste.  Serve with brown rice or millet