To celebrate National Vegetarian Week 2014, The Tofu Diaries has invited fellow bloggers to get involved and share!
Today’s guest blog is from Shonalika who is sharing her love of lentils and using them imaginative ways. This tasty, nutritious breakfast dahl recipe makes a fantastic alternative to porridge in the mornings!
Hi! I’m Shonalika, and I’ve recently started a food blog entitled The Pulse. (My name rhymes with Metallica, in case you were wondering about pronunciation – not that you’ll need to pronounce it order to make my recipes!). As you can probably guess, my blog is centred around one of my favourite food groups, the legumes, which are so important for those following vegan and vegetarian diets. They’re also insanely versatile – if you’re a follower of vegetarian blogs like Natalie’s, then you’re more likely than not to have come across numerous recipes involving pulses, whether used whole in chills and salads, pulverized for hummus and dips, pounded into gram flour for everything from bhaji batters to pancakes, and used in sweets such as the traditional besan laddoo and the not-so-tradition black bean brownie.
One of my legume-y creations is Breakfast Dahl, so-named because it was whilst making a bog-standard pot of dhal that I suddenly realised the process was exactly the same (if a little longer) as making a bowl of porridge, giving an end result with a very similar consistency and texture. So… why not try making porridge out of lentils, instead of oats? A quick swap of vegetables for fruits, turmeric for cinnamon, water for milk, and I was hooked. Since I first started making these I’ve tried myriads of flavour combinations, and frequently post these on my blog.
So, I knew the subject of my guest post had to be lentil porridge: the only trouble was, which? Something fancy for the occasion, like Salted Caramel Apple, or a flavour combo known, familiar and well-loved as Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chip?
After much deliberation, I realised that the concept of eating lentils for breakfast will be new to most people, so I went with the basic “template” for a lot of my breakfast dahls. Banana porridge is the easiest to make and simplest to customise, and hence a good one to start out with! Feel free to alter this recipe in any way you choose – swirl in jam, nut butters, extra fruits, top with nuts, seeds, coconut, or chocolate. As a matter of fact, you could do a 50/50 mix with lentils and oats if you’re uncertain about diving right in – just add the oats later as they take a shorter time to cook. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Cook time: 15-20 mins
1/4 cup dry red split lentils
1/4 cup water (freshly boiled from a kettle will increase cooking speed)
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/2 banana (45-50g)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt
Sweetener of choice, to taste (Optional)
Any additional toppings/ingredients e.g. the rest of the banana, nuts, nut butters, dried fruit, berries, shredded coconut, maple syrup, chocolate chips!
1. Measure out lentils and rinse very thoroughly. (This can be easily done in the cooking pot itself.)
2. Add water and milk and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and keep partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if required.
3. Mash banana, then add to lentils along with vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Stir and sweeten to taste.
4. Transfer to a bowl, add any additional toppings and dig in!
- This recipe makes a very thick porridge. I love making them like this because I can then pour milk on top and have the two remain somewhat separate – it’s like eating baked oatmeal, only squidgier! To help achieve this effect, a tablespoon of flaxseed or chia added at the end can work wonders. If you prefer a thinner porridge, on the other hand, just increase the amounts of cooking liquid.
- To save yourself cook time, you can easily make multiple servings of the plain dahl (just milk, water and salt). I usually make around 3 servings at once, then microwave them up with all the fruit and flavours added in the morning.
Thanks so much to Shonalika from The Pulse for this unique and versatile recipe. Be sure to check out and follow her blog for more!