Kale and tomatillo are an excellent combination to make Dal. Dal is cooked Indian lentils usually mixed with vegetables, spices, and tampering. Channa dal – is most commonly cooked lentils after Toor Dal in India. It is recommended to eat at least 2-3 cups of cruciferous vegetables daily. These include all vegetables in the Brassica family: cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc. Veggies n lentils together make a great tasting, healthy, clean vegetarian dish. If you are looking for some meatless alternatives, Kale and tomatillo is the first stop. Spinach lentils is Indians most favorite Dal. You will be surprised Kale dal is not so different, but with more nutrients and a great crisp texture. It will be the Indian’s next favorite dal.
In Indian cuisine, dal is eaten with rice or roti. Yet, dal is no different from lentil soup. Depending on your appetite and mood you choose whether to eat as soup or as the main course. Channa lentils are nutrition powerhouse. They carry a great combination of protein, calcium, fiber and carbohydrates, which are recommended daily. To get best nutrition out of this dish, eat with whole grain roti, multigrain roti, forbidden rice, quinoa or Brown rice.
Indian cuisine offers many vegetarian, vegan meatless options. Kale, being protein-rich containing 4 gms of protein per 100 gms, has earned the epithet of “queen beef”. A 100 gms serving of kale meets 700% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K and 200% of the recommended Vitamin A and C intake, making it a “nutrition powerhouse”.
Tomatoes are C vitamin kings. Along with protein, Fiber, minerals, vitamins tomatoes carry many anti oxidants as Lycopene, Beta carotene, Naringenin. Even tomato skin carries flavonoids which help in inflammation.
I did not know that there are many varieties of kale. For my readers, I am posting them below.
- Dinosaur- lacinato
- Walking stick
- Red Russian
Lentils in the below picture are cultivated by my uncle. My mother buys from him after every harvest. They are not split when bought. They are round with skin. These whole lentils are split using a stone mill by hand. Stone-mill is called ‘Visurrayi’ in Andhra Pradesh, ‘Chikki’ in North India. To know more, watch this video. Whole Channa lentils are poured in small batches in the hole while they rotate. Rotation splits peas and peas eventually fall off from sides. My mom still has the patience to do this every year. This process splits peas, ready to eat preserving lot of skin. They taste soooo good. My mom knows that I like home split channa dal, that’s why she keeps some for me.
- 2 cups - kale.
- 4 - tomatoes
- ½ - medium-sized onion
- 5-8 green or red chilies depending on spice level
- 1 cup - toor dal (split pigeon peas).
- Pink Himalayan salt
- For tampering
- 4 tbsp - Healthy oil of your choice. I used coconut oil.
- ¼ tsp - cumin
- ¼ tsp - black mustard seeds
- 2 sprigs - curry leaves
- ⅛th tsp - turmeric powder
- ⅛th tsp - ginger garlic paste
- 5 sprigs - cilantro
- Soak dal for 15 minutes.
- Cut kale, tomatillos, onion, and chilies into pieces. Add vegetables and salt to dal.
- Cook lentils along with all the ingredients in InstaPot or a pressure cooker for 4 whistles or till soft.
- Cooking in Pressure cooker saves a lot of time.
- Now prepare for tadka.
- In a small saucepan, add oil and heat.
- Add red chilies, fry till brown.
- When chilies are brown, add mustard seeds.
- When mustard seeds splutter, add cumin.
- When cumin is fried, add curry leaves, ginger garlic paste.
- I add turmeric after curry leaves spluttering settles. Otherwise turmeric color is all over the stove.
- Now pour hot tampering over cooked dal. After pouring over dal, you can add some dal to tampered pan to deglaze it.
- Deglazing is a technique to pour some cold liquid into a very hot pan to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Those brown bits are where all the flavors are.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Serve hot with brown rice or quinoa.