Thursday, 10 January 2013

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: Lentil Curry

This is a recipe that comes via my Grandmother who lived in India for a while. It's one of my favourite comfort food recipes and is full of amazingly healthy, arthritis friendly ingredients. I've recently returned back to the kitchen as my arms get a little better and this was the first thing I made because it is so easy. There is no need to do any chopping and hardly any stirring, so if your arthritis effects your arms or hands, this is a very useful recipe. It also fits the bill as a nice, aromatic change from all the Christmas-fare. If you have never tried lentil curry (dahl) or think it sounds a bit worthy, do give it a chance - you will be surprised how delicious it is. You can also feel smug that it will deliver on all your arthritis healthy eating resolutions.

If you want to turn this into a more substantial vegetarian curry, simply add some chopped vegetables (frozen are fine) for 20 minutes before serving or stir in some fresh spinach. You can also turn it into a soup by adding more stock and serving with a dollop of yoghurt. So one recipe - many meals!

160g red lentils
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock (try adding a little coconut milk for a richer curry)
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 onion chopped (optional - you can leave it out for a no-chop meal)
1 tsp ground ginger
2tsp turmeric
2tsp garam masala or mild curry powder
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil (or other flavourless oil)

Serves 4

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and gently fry until softened. Stir in the ground spices and cook for another minute. 

Tip the lentils into the pan and then cover with the stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. The lentils should be broken down and you should have a thick curry.

Serve with rice, spinach and plenty of yoghurt.

Arthritis diet notes:
Indian food is fantastic for arthritis. It is full of anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger. This lentil curry is also low fat, high fibre and a good source of protein. It makes a filling and satisfying meal. You can read more about how ginger and turmeric may help arthritis here.

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