Warm diet essentials: mung dahl

This cleansing dish takes inspiration from Ayurvedic medicine.

A favorite among their high-profile clients, the Hemsley sisters stockpile this soothing concoction in the freezer for times of need, be it cravings for indulgence or a pick-me-up after a long, hard day.

6 cc. bone broth or water (you might want to add less or more depending on how soupy you like your dahl)
18 oz green mung beans
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. ground coriander
6 cardamom pods, crushed
Dried or fresh chili, to taste (optional)
1 tbsp. ghee or coconut oil
4 large onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, grated
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh root ginger (about 2 3⁄4 oz), unpeeled if organic, grated or finely diced
4 large carrots, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
2 large pinches of sea salt or 1 tbsp tamari, to taste
2 large pinches of black pepper
3 large handfuls of fresh cilantro, finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves
8 large handfuls of greens, such as baby spinach, spinach, winter greens or kale (stalks removed)
juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 lime or lemon, cut into wedges to serve

1. Bring the broth or water to boil in a large saucepan with a lid, add the mung beans, and simmer over a medium heat, with the lid on, for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, dry fry the spices in a large deep frying pan for 1 minute over a medium heat or until fragrant—keep stirring to prevent burning. Add the chili now if you want this dahl to have a little kick.

3. Add the ghee or coconut oil to the pan and fry the onion and spices for 10 minutes until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further 5 minutes over a gentle heat, until softened and starting to caramelize.

4. After the mung beans have had their 20 minutes of cooking time, add the diced carrot and celery and the fried onion, garlic, and ginger mix, keeping back 6 tablespoons of this mix to garnish the bowls at the end.

5. Add the salt or tamari, pepper, and the finely-chopped cilantro stalks and continue to cook, with the lid on, for a further 15 minutes over a medium heat until tender. Add more liquid if needed and stir at the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.

6. Finely slice the kale leaves and winter greens, if using, or roughly chop the spinach (baby spinach doesn’t need to be chopped).

7. If you’re using kale or a ‘tougher’ green veg, then add it now. If using spinach, then stir in just before serving to wilt the leaves and finish with the lime or lemon juice.

8. To serve, top each bowl of dahl with a spoonful of the spiced fried onions, the chopped cilantro leaves, and a wedge of lime or lemon.

Get more warm-diet recipes from the Hemsley sisters:

Bone Broth

Broccoli, Pea, and Basil Soup

Chicken Tinola

Recipe Adapted from The Art of Eating Well: Hemsley and Hemsley