Golden Cauliflower Dal with Red Lentils, Bell Pepper, Coconut and Spinach

What a busy week! Tony has been working on our old house getting ready to sell. We have so much stuff! We have so much stuff because we accumulated things from others in the family. They didn’t have room for it, so it ended up with us. That includes cars. One of our cars came from his mom. Luckily, that car ended up working out well. We have several cars that are over 10 years old. That means, we have to fix them occasionally. I spent my weekend fixing wheel bearings. Not a hard fix, but with rusted out parts, I spent most of the fixing time banging on the old part with a hammer to get it loose. I’m just glad I know how to fix the simple things. It saves us a lot of money. I’m lucky to have this knowledge because of my dad. He made it rule, if we get a car to drive, we have to be able to fix it. I spent a lot of time with him fixing my old car. While I can’t fix an engine or a transmission, I can do quite a bit with the tools I have. A YouTube video also helps. That guides me in the order things go on and off. Wheel bearings, check. Next will be ABS sensors.

This week I decided to pull out an Indian recipe. I am starting with a recipe for Golden Cauliflower Dal with Red Lentils, Coconut and Spinach from Feasting at Home. It has tons of vitamin A, but no vitamin C. It also has a lot of sodium and a little low on protein. I can easily add more protein and a little more texture using tempeh. Other than that, this recipe looks delish! I think more people need to make Indian recipes at home. There are a lot of ingredients, but easy to pull off. It’s a great cuisine if you want to make a wonderful vegetarian meal.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I increased the servings from 4 to 8 to reduce the calories.
  • I swapped the full fat coconut milk with a low fat variety to lower the saturated fat.
  • I removed the added salt to reduce the sodium.
  • I added red bell pepper to increase the vitamins A and C.
  • I added brown basmati rice to add bulk to the dish.
  • I added tempeh for texture and to bump up the protein.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Golden Cauliflower Dal with Red Lentils, Coconut, Bell Pepper and Spinach

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2–3 fat shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated or finely minced (or use ginger paste)
  • 2–4 fresh or dried chilies (optional, for heat)
  • 3 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into large florets (about 2 lbs)
  • 2 7.5 ounce packages of tempeh, chopped
  • couple handfuls baby spinach
  1. Add the rice and 2 cups of water to a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Set aside
  2. Cover the split lentils with 2 cups boiling water, set aside.
  3. In an extra-large sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat, add the crushed coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and stir for one minute.
  4. Add the shallots, garlic and ginger and optional chilies, and red bell pepper and sauté until fragrant and golden, lowering the heat to med-low, if need be, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir in the lentils along with the 2 cups of hot water. Add the salt and fenugreek. Give a good stir.
  5. Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate, then add the cauliflower florets and tempeh, coating them well. Give the pan a shake to allow any lentils to slip back into the liquid. Increase heat, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently over med-low heat, until lentils are softened and cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and let some of the liquid cook off, about 3-4 more minutes. Carefully stir in spinach.  Taste, adjust seasonings. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like.
  7. Garnish with cilantro or scallions.
  8. Serve with the rice.

2 thoughts on “Golden Cauliflower Dal with Red Lentils, Bell Pepper, Coconut and Spinach

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