When it comes to breakfast, lentils are one of the most underused sources of protein, I find. You are likely to encounter recipes that ask for every nut under the sun but not lentils. They hardly ever seem to inspire more than the staid old soup, stew or salad. But I hope this recipe will change your mind, shake up your morning monotony and add a little bit of sweet to your lentil repertoire.
This is a soupy, filling and very energizing drink that traditionally combines cooked lentils with fresh coconut milk and jaggery. Because running in search of ingredients isn't exactly my cup of lentils, I often swap the jaggery for the equally nutritious and more readily available molasses.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
1/4 cup mung dal/bean (source from your local supermarket or Indian grocer)
2-4 Tbsp packed ground jaggery, brown sugar or blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup or more, coconut milk (any fat content)
A hefty pinch, fresh ground cardamom
3-4 cashews, broken into bits (optional)
1 tsp. raisins (optional)
Toast the lentils in a dry skillet on low heat until aromatic. Don't brown them.
Transfer the lentils to a pan. Add a cup of water and cook them until really soft. You may need to add more water. Lentils can burn easily so please be mindful. Once cooked, mash them well with the back of a spoon.
Sweeten the lentils with molasses, add ground cardamom and coconut milk. Stir to combine on low heat until warmed through.
Let it sit for a bit to allow the flavours to marry and fully develop. Best served warm, garnished with nuts and raisins.