Easy Peasy Red Lentils
Lentils are one of my favorite choices when I'm looking for protein-rich food. They are also a sattvic food, which means it brings peace and contentment by nourishing the body and the nerves, and they are so agreeable with any grain and vegetable. When cooked with the right combination of ingredients, red lentils can make such a soft and easily digestible meal that is packed with several vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.
My Easy Peasy Red Lentils recipe is very satisfying, tasty, and yet so easy to make. In addition to being sweet, cooling, and soft, red lentils are astringent, which means they are drying. Since I have a very dry constitution (Vata), I often cook lentils with coconut milk to counteract this quality. If you are a Kapha dominant type, the astringent quality is balancing for you, so you could lessen the amount of coconut milk or strictly use either vegetable broth or water as your liquid totaling 2 cups. See notes in the recipe below.
Coconut Milk is sweet, heavy, oily, and cold in nature and pacifies Vata and Pitta dosha. As an added bonus, especially for Summer, the cooling effect of both the lentils and the coconut milk help cultivate a cooler, calmer mind by reducing rajas. Rajas is one of the 3 gunas in Ayurveda that brings stimulated, restless energy to the mental body, which can easily get aggravated in the Summer.
Food truly is medicine when used mindfully to offset any lack or excess in our unique constitution. It is a tool that is available to us so that we can shift our energetic status and balance ourselves ~ in the body and the mind.
In general for optimal digestion, grains should be well cooked and served moist. If you are prone to gassiness, smaller beans are best (like these red lentils) and should be cooked until you can squish them between your fingers.
Due to the high fiber content, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day (but not with the meal), to ensure proper movement of all that plant material.
This recipe can be balancing for all doshas. Please see the notes in the recipe on how to adjust appropriately.
Easy Peasy Red Lentils Recipe
½ cup Red Lentils - rinsed & soaked
(soaking helps remove gas-causing Saponins & makes them even more digestible)
1 TBSP Ghee (or Coconut Oil)
½ Tbsp Fennel Seeds
½ Tbsp Cumin Seeds
⅛ - ¼ tsp Coriander powder
⅛ - ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
⅛ - ¼ tsp Ginger Powder OR fresh Ginger for high Pitta - (½ -1 tsp minced)
1.5 cups Coconut Milk
½ cup Veggie broth (use one with low-moderate sodium content)
Himalayan Pink Salt & Black Pepper
*For Kapha types, instead use 1.5 cups Veggie Broth + 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
OR just use all broth or water (2 cups total) & omit the Coconut Milk.
1.Drain & rinse Lentils.
2. Melt oil in a pot, add Fennel & Cumin seeds under low fire for about a minute.
3. Then, add the Coriander, Turmeric & Ginger, stir for about a ½ minute, then stir in the Lentils with the spices and oil for about ½ minute.
4. Stir in the Veggie Broth, Coconut Milk, and a pinch of Salt & Black Pepper.
5. Boil, then cover for 20 min on low fire.
6. Serve with fresh Cilantro & a squeeze of Lime.
7. Add Salt & Pepper to taste.