Coconut, Ginger and Spinach Dhal – A delicious, quick and easy recipe for a flu’ and cold busting dhal. This recipe has fresh ginger, spinach, garlic, coconut water and red lentils in it, as well as turmeric for added health benefits. Serve with naan bread.
A Flu’ and Cold Busting Vegan Recipe
It’s inevitable at this time of the year that colds and flu’ are on the rise, and although I’ve been lucky so far and have escaped them both, fingers crossed, winter isn’t over yet. We do tend to eat very healthily, with at at least five of our five-a-day, and often eight or nine a day, and, we follow what I call a flexitarian diet, where nothing is off limits as in meat, dairy and fish etc. Everything is sourced locally with transparent provenance, or from the UK. So, I didn’t highlight Veganuary this year, as our diet already comprises a healthy selection of home-cooked vegan, veggie, meat, dairy and fish recipes. Today’s recipe for Coconut, Ginger and Spinach Dhal IS vegan, but it’s a fabulous bowl of germ-busting ingredients that tastes delectable.
I served this recipe for Coconut, Ginger and Spinach Dhal for lunch over the weekend, with some garlic and coriander naan breads, and it was a delicious meal for a rather wet and windy day here in North Wales. Obviously, I am not a doctor, and I am not saying you won’t catch a cold or even flu’ after eating today’s recipe. However, it is indisputable that all the ingredients are known to help fight off infections and are vital as part of a healthy diet. And, there is something very comforting about a bowl of aromatic, fragrant and spicy dhal, especially when served with naan bread for dipping and dunking.
Let’s look at some of the ingredients in today’s recipe for Coconut, Ginger and Spinach Dhal…..
Ginger is part of the same family as Turmeric and Cardamom and has been used in China for centuries, not only as a flavouring but as an ingredient to help with digestion and aid circulation.
As a diaphoretic, it encourages perspiration and thus aids fevers that are associated with the recovery of influenza and colds.
Rich in Gingerol, a volatile oil, which is known to help with anti-inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Spinach is well known for its nutritional properties, being rich in iron, vitamins K which is important for maintaining healthy bones, and vitamins C and B2. It’s also high in magnesium which improves vitality and the quality of blood.
The dark green leaves are rich in chlorophyll and carotenoids, which are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer proprieties, as well as helping with healthy eye sight.
Garlic has been highly valued throughout the ages as a medicinal spice, with the Russians regarding it as a natural antibiotic, hence it being known as Russian Penicillin. It has also been used during both World Wars as an antiseptic, to clean and dress wounds.
It’s an excellent source of vitamin B6, which is known to aid in a healthy heart, reduce blood-pressure, and as an ingredient that helps fight viruses and bacteria.
Turmeric is another spice that has been known for centuries to have health giving properties, especially as an anti-inflammatory and with joint pain.
It is also known to be useful as a spice to help with reducing pre-menstrual tension and with Alzheimer s disease. This fascinating spice is still being studied by universities and drugs companies ans an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
This recipe is also quick and easy to make, and has few ingredients in it, most of which you will have in the pantry or vegetable basket. I always have red lentils and yellow spilt peas in the pantry, along with other pulses, beans and legumes. And, spinach is always on my weekly shopping list too. They, pulses, are great store-cupboard staples and make great thickening agents in place of flour, especially handy for gluten free diets. Garlic is also a staple ingredient, as are onions. I’ve never cooked with a coconut style drink before, but I got the idea from a recipe on the WW website, along with today’s recipe, which is my adaptation.
My recipe for Coconut, Ginger and Spinach Dhal is shared below in a printable recipe card, and please do let me know if you make this, and what you thought of the recipe. I’ve also shared some more healthy, spicy recipes that might be suitable as a winter warmers for the family supper table, Karen
Coconut, Ginger & Spinach Dhal
A delicious, quick and easy recipe for a flu' and cold busting dhal. This recipe has fresh ginger, spinach, garlic, coconut water and red lentils in it, as well as turmeric for added health benefits. Serve with naan bread.
- Calorie controlled spray oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 35g root ginger, peeled and finely diced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 225g red lentils, rinsed
- 1 litre Alpro Coconut Original Drink, unsweetened
- 235g fresh baby spinach leaves
- Salt, to taste
- 4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
- Mist a large casserole dish with the spray oil. Add the chopped onions and sweat them with the lid on for 5 to 6 minutes until they have taken on some colour and they are soft. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and turmeric powder, mix well and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Add the red lentils, stir to combine and then pour in the coconut drink, bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes until the lentils are soft and the mixture has thickened.
- Add the spinach in batches, stirring all the time until it is just wilted, season to taste with salt, then remove the dhal from the heat and serve in bowls with chopped spring onions as a garnish.
This is great when served with naan bread for dipping and dunking, as well as a spoon of mango chutney. For those who like a little extra heat, add a chopped red chilli with the garlic, ginger and spices, and continue with the recipe as instructed.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 352Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 291mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 11gSugar 24gProtein 7g
More Healthy Spicy Recipes:
Spinach, Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry (244 Calories)
A simple, spicy and very nourishing curry that is very low in calories but full flavoured. PERFECT for anyone following a low-calorie diet such as the 5:2 diet or Weight Watchers. (This recipe serves FOUR people and the total calorie count is 976 calories and EACH individual portion is 244 calories a or 352 WITH a Weight Watchers naan bread)
Potato & Kale Curry
A spicy, tasty and yet “clean” tasting vegetarian dish that is made with curly kale, baby potatoes and coconut milk.
Creamy Tortellini, Mushroom and Spinach Soup
A delicious creamy soup with pasta, mushrooms and spinach
Chole Chaat (Chickpea Curry)
Chole Chaat is a spicy Indian chickpea curry made with a base of fresh ginger, garlic and tomatoes; serve with steamed Basmati rice and assorted sambals.
Toasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry
A simple vegan curry that is packed with lots of your five-a-day and some fabulous spices.
Karen! I made your Coconut, Ginger & Spinach Dhal and it’s delicious! I did add a minced jalapeno. Next time I’ll grate the ginger. Is “coconut drink” coconut water or coconut milk/beverage from a carton? The dhal looks creamy in your photo. I used coconut water and it worked. I also added about a teaspoon of salt and served it over basmati rice. Thank you for the yummy dinner!
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thanks so much for your comments, and yes, the coconut drink is coconut water, so you were right!
You can grate the ginger, I diced mine very finely, but grating is also good, I’ll add that as an option to the recipe.
A tip, which you may already know, is to freeze your ginger root, and when it’s needed, grate it from frozen (including the skin) so it doesn’t clog up your grater! I do this all the time and it stops your ginger from going mouldy too.
I’m SO glad you enjoyed this Dhal, I bet it was great with rice as well. 🙂
I made this tonight from store cupboard ingredients and frozen spinach, absolutely delicious, thanks
Karen Burns-Booth says
That’s great to hear Elizabeth and thank you for your kind feedback too.
karen Matthews-getty says
Hi, can this be chilled and/or frozen and reheated?
Karen Burns-Booth says
This can be chilled to reheat later, but I’m not sure it will freeze well.