If you are looking for a simple and hearty stew to warm you up this winter, look no further then this immune boosting chana dal. Chana dal beans are split chickpeas, which are full of fiber, plant-based protein, and iron. They can be used in dips, salads, soups, and stews and are a staple in Indian cuisine.
You can throw together this flavorful stew in under an hour, lean on it for leftovers, or place it in the freezer for a rainy day. Ginger and spices add immune boosting qualities, and the spinach and beans make this hearty and robust stew a complete meal. The chana dal also works well served over brown rice. If you are not a fan of strong aromatic spices, omit the finishing oil, which is a combination of whole spices toasted in ghee and used to garnish and flavor the stew.
Immune Boosting Chana Dal with Spinach
2 cups chana dal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 of a large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
Salt and pepper
8 cups water or stock ( I do a combo of both)
2 bay leaves
6 cups spinach
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon each: fennel seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, garlic granules, chili flakes
Rinse and sort through the chana dal.
In a large dutch oven, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and carrots, and sauté for 8 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the curry powder, red chili flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix together for 30 seconds.
Add the chana dal, 8 cups of stock/water, and bay leaves to the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender or a potato masher, mash half the beans to thicken the stew. Mix in the spinach and keep warm.
To make the finishing oil, melt the ghee in a small sauce pan. Add the spices and toast for 30 seconds. Stir oil into dal, or top individual bowls with a preferred amount and serve immediately.