Feed the Town Organic Dahl

I love working in the shop.

I love all the different people that come in, and all that their differences teach me.

All their various wisdoms.

There are the people who have found a whole philosophy to eat by in the ‘Nourishing Traditions’ book.

Others, on a totally different course, with the raw food philosophy.

There are those with cancer, bless their journey, and those who find their bodies refusing to eat ‘just anything’… Their talk full of the huge learning they are experiencing.

Their are the older people, the ‘wise ones’ my daughter used to call them, who come because they remember what good food tastes like, have learned over the years that it pays to respect their body (& the earth), and enjoy again the service they remember from their childhoods.

Then there are those who have met life in all it’s purity and wonder in their newborn babies, and full of the beauty of it would preserve it as best they can….

Some people come and go and I admit that I feel sad when people stop eating organics . It’s the effort, they say, falling prey to the allure of ‘fast’ food in our lifestyles and the ‘get it over and done with’ one stop shop.

Some say it’s the cost, though I have traveled nearly 20 years on this path, much on minimal income, and never found a reason for it to be any less important than a roof over our heads. Buying dry goods in bulk has helped immensely to keep the grocery bills down. I love a well stocked pantry full of jars and options ! It has the added bonus of meaning that I get my fresh veges and dry goods in one go and rarely have to go to the supermarket at all….

So confessions…. What do I buy at the supermarket? Toilet paper, ‘safe’ paper towels, occasionally yoghurt (though I do wish I’d get my act together and make my own) dish clothes on occasions and mango chutney. I did make my first mango chutney last summer, a huge production for only four jars! Then the mango crop was wiped out, but this summer…

Which brings me to one of my favourite recipes- Dahl; simple and quick and exceptionally good for you and oh so cheap especially when you can get the dry ingredients in bulk. Well under 10 dollars to feed at least 6 people!

Channa Dhal (for 6 people)

2 cups of red lentils

1 cup of chickpeas soaked and cooked (or a tin of the same if your after a quick meal)

2 tablespoons of coconut oil or ghee

1 big onion, chopped

Garlic to taste ( I use at least 3/4 cloves), crushed

3 tsp ground cummin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder ( or 2 tsp of mild curry powder and 1/2 tsp of Ginger powder – or fresh) A little water Salt and pepper

Cook onions and garlic in oil or ghee till soft, add spices, pepper and salt and 2 tablespoons of water and cook until the water is taken up.

Add the lentils and chickpeas and cover with boiling water.. Simmer for about 10 min, stirring occassionally .

When it’s cooked you can mash it (or not) I like to add chopped spinach or silverbeet at the end and stir it through till just limp And somtimes we add potatoes with the lentils instead of or as well as the chickpeas A can of chopped tomatoes is good to if you want it to go further Obviously the spices are to taste, if you are as dilligent as I would wish to be you may have a curry paste mix made up!!

But rest assured, this is delicious and I have never had any complaints from any age group – except once when I was a bit heavy handed on the chilli!

Serve with Rice & optional extras….

Papadams

Yoghurt

Mango chutney

Ps. Lentils praise….

Very low in fat, 24% protein (esp. when combined with the rice in this case), iron, sodium, magnesium, chlorine, vit. A, B1, B2, B3, & one of the easiest legumes to digest with the shortest cooking time!

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