Guzzling down an ice-cold protein shake after a tough strength session? Not in this arctic weather, thank you. Instead, we’ve got our eyes on this easy-to-make (and most importantly warm) ‘lazy dahl’ that takes just 30 minutes to cook.
The lentils are packed with muscle-building protein and glycogen-restoring carbs – giving the old protein shake a run for its money. And let’s not forget the mild spices that make tucking into soup on a winter evening that much more satisfying. Studies show that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce exercise-induced soreness and boost muscle recovery, while its key ingredient – curcumin – is activated by the heart-healthy fats in the creamy coconut milk. Now that sounds anything but lazy…
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
200g dried red lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear, and drained
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
500ml vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground
2 handfuls of washed fresh
Spinach or 2 blocks of frozen
Juice of ½ a lemon
Handful of fresh coriander leaves
- Heat a large pan over a medium heat and gently toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mustard seeds start to pop.
- Tip them out of the pan, and then lightly grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
- Put the coconut oil into the hot pan, then add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook gently for 5 minutes over a low heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further few minutes.
- Add the freshly ground spices, along with the turmeric and garam masala, and cook for 1 minute.
- Finally, add the lentils, coconut milk and vegetable stock, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes with the lid on, then 10 minutes with the cover off to allow it to thicken.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, add the spinach and stir until it wilts, then squeeze in the lemon juice and top with fresh coriander leaves.
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