Gentle Healing Dal

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From the Vitality Food Feature ‘CULINARY SPICES THAT HEAL‘.

Garam masala is the most aromatic and fragrant of all Indian spice blends. Compared to store-bought garam masala, a fresh homemade spice blend tastes better and has a more potent healing effect. (Makes 6 servings)


  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup chana dal (a yellow lentil also known as cholar dal), rinsed well
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of grey sea salt or pink rock salt (or to taste)
  • 10 oz frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh spinach), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Julie’s Garam Masala (see below)
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro

1) Bring the water to a boil in a large pot and add the dal.

2) Lower the heat to medium, add the turmeric and salt, and simmer for 35 minutes.

3) After 20 minutes, uncover pot and skim off lentil foam with a spoon.

4) Add the spinach and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the spinach is tender.

5) About 10 minutes before the dal is ready, gently heat the oil in a skillet and then add the cumin seeds.

6) As they start to pop, add the onions and sautee until translucent.

7) Add the garlic, coriander and garam masala and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

8) Add the dal mixture and lemon juice. Stir and heat through.

9) Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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