Breakfast Dahl - What the heck?

Those words don't go together very well, do they? Dahl is a spicy sloppy thing you eat with rice and yogurt. It's a kind of a curry, for heaven's sake, isn't it - about as far cry from porridge as an elephant is to a... hyrax, as it turns out. 

It occurred to me, one day, while I was preparing a pot of dahl, that the lentils served the same purpose as oats in porridge - cooked in the same way, and achieving much the same texture. The only difference being that rather than fruit and sweet spices, I'd usually add spinach or tomatoes and savoury spices.

Why not make a sweet version, and have it for breakfast? 

You've seen black bean brownies, you've seen chickpea cookies. Now you're getting lentil porridge.

Prepared correctly, it is every bit as delicious as its oaty counterpart (and that's coming from someone who used to eat oats every day.)

Another thing I love about it is that you get much more dahl for your lentil, volume-wise, than you get porridge for your oat. Meaning you get to really stuff your face.

Plus its dirt cheap.

Basic Preparation

  1. 1/4 cup is exactly one serving for me - I am a small person with a small stomach. If you're unsure, make extra to start with until you figure out the right amount for you, it could be up to 1/3. 
  2. I usually make 3 servings in one go - one for now and breakfast for two more days. So for me, that's 3/4 cup dried lentils with 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup milk. 
  3. Bring your chosen amount of lentils to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave partially covered, stirring occasionally, until a porridge-like texture is achieved, around 10-15 minutes. 
  4. I add salt here, since I always add it, so I don't have to bother the next morning. You can do the same with any other flavourings you'd definitely add anyway e.g vanilla, cinnamon.
  5. Transfer to a container, and bung in the fridge. 
Freshly made and ready for fridging... It'll be more appetising once it's slathered in fruit and chocolate and smells like heaven, I promise.

Rules For Reheating and Eating

The exact method for each individual recipe will be listed, but this is just a general guide so that you can go off and experiment.
  1. Get your dahl out of the fridge, mash in banana, if using, and flavourings (e.g. extracts or spices) and microwave on full for 1 1/2 minutes.
  2. Take out, stir, add other ingredients such as nut butter and fruit/berries, and microwave for another minute. 
  3. For a firm, "cake" texture, add 1 tbsp of linseed post-microwaving - I frequently do this, then eat it with milk poured on top, much like a slightly squidgly baked oatmeal. For a "porridge" texture, stir extra liquid into the dahl either before or after microwaving.


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