cooking classes stradbroke island
cooking classes north stradbroke island

dahl recipe winter element

Dahl Recipe for nourishing and warming deliciousness

Cooking for Vitality for the Water Element in Winter.
Winter is the season for the water element which governs the kidneys and the bladder. Notice how the cold affects and stimulates the bladder and makes us contract into the back of our body. It is important to stay warm, keeping our feet warm, and our bodies warm. Our circulation tends to disappear from our extremities and our limbs in favour of our organs which makes us contract more into our muscles. Our vital energy resides with the kidneys and nourishing the nervous system is the key to keeping our adrenal glands happy. Rest and relax more as the days are shorter and the nights are longer. Sip warm water or herb tea, try licorice root, cinnamon and ginger or just slices of ginger in hot water. Caffeine and other stimulants along with stress, late nights and too much activity are depleting to the nervous system. Winter is an internal time of hibernation to contemplate, rug up and reflect. 

2 tablespoons of ghee or oil, add extra if you love the buttery flavour as much as i do.
5cm piece of ginger-finely grated
2 large brown onions- diced
garlic optional.
Indian spices (2-3 dessert spoons of curry powder or combine your own mix of spices):
2tsp ground turmeric or can use fresh finely grated
3tsp ground cumin
2tsp caraway seeds
2tsp black mustard seeds
2tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tsp garam masala or 1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp pippali - indian long pepper or add chilli or regular black pepper
2tsp salt
2 stalks of celery, cropped
4-5 ripe roma tomatoes, diced
500g red lentils
1 litre water

Toast the spices with the onion, ginger and garlic in the ghee or oil for approx 5 min. Smell the delicious aromas, digestion has begun. Add celery, including the green leaves and stir into the mix for another 5 min.

Add roma tomatoes and stir through until soft. Add red lentils and water. Simmer until the lentils are soft and have turned brown. Add extra water if you need to to ensure the lentils don't stick to the bottom of your pot and stir regularly to make sure they cook evenly. Yummm. Serve with special rice (recipe below). Add natural yoghurt and chopped fresh coriander to serve.

Add cauliflower pieces at the end and simmer until tender.
Make this recipe into a soup with extra water and use for half fasting or a cleanse one day each week.

The spices used in Indian cooking all have medicinal value and aid in digestion. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, garlic is a natural antibiotic and is good for blood circulation as well as the immune system. Garlic dries out respiratory conditions so is good for colds and sinus. Cinnamon is warming and good for diabetes. Fennel is calming and soothing for the stomach and digestive tract. Caraway is calming and nourishing for the nervous system. Just to name a few.
Ghee is popular in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic medicine. It is nourishing for the nervous system as well as the tissues of the body. 80% of our vitamins are fat soluble so we need to include good fats in our diet. Eating healthy fat helps us to digest fats via the liver and gallbladder and assists the peristaltic movement through the intestines.

In the winter time we look for warming and nourishing foods. We look to build a store of nourishment so in the warmer months when we move more and eat less we do not become depleted. This includes rest and nourishment of the nervous system, filling our chi tanks with vital energy. 

You will never go back once you taste this delicious Ayurvedic cooking method.
Add 1-2 dessert spoons of ghee or oil to a heavy based saucepan.
Fry 1 small diced onion, 1-2 tsp fennel, cardamom or mustard seeds or a combination.
Optional add 1 stalk chopped celery including the leaves.
Add 1-2 cups of jasmine rice and toast the rice until it has browned a little. (This toasting process makes the rice more easy to digest and makes it taste awesome.)
Add twice as much water as the quantity of rice and simmer with the lid on until no more liquid bubbles through.
Turn off the heat and leave on the stove for another 5 minutes so all the water is absorbed.
Stir occasionally and serve with your favourite curry or stew or eat as it is.


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