Anti-inflammatory Dhal

An important part of self-care as a parent is eating healthily and regularly. This is in part to stay healthy, and in part to maintain energy levels. When we reach for unhealthy junk food we get the energy highs, which might feel good at the time, but we also get the crash in energy that follows.

This mindset – focusing on healthy eating in order to maintain good energy levels – is the difference between surviving parenthood and thriving in parenthood. We can get by in the ‘survival’ mindset for a while, but this is not sustainable in the long run. And just getting by or surviving isn’t good enough – we want to thrive and enjoy our lives!

This anti inflammatory dhal doesn’t take too much work or time to make, and can even be made in big batches so it can be reheated for an easy dinner the next day or as a lunch.

The key is to cook when you have the time, and to think ahead. When we leave things like cooking to the last minute then if anything urgent presents itself at crunch time then things could get stressful, because either cooking gets pushed till afterwards (not always a good option if there are small hungry children involved) or we try to multitask and may not be fully present in either of the tasks we are managing. Sometimes life happens in unexpected ways and there’s nothing to be done, but mostly we can come out ahead of it by planning ahead where possible.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil, (or other oil that is appropriate for moderately high temp heating)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of red lentils
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed
  • 1 desert spoon of tomato purée
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 ounce grated ginger
  • 1 litre vegetable stock


Fry the onion for a few minutes in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes and tomato purée and cook for 25 minutes, until the mixture resembles chutney.

Add ginger, spices, lentils and vegetable stock. Cook over low heat until lentils are soft and fluffy.

Season to taste, and serve with your choice of rice or quinoa. Some fresh spinach fried quickly and lightly with some fresh pressed garlic pairs well with this meal. Sprinkle some black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa) for extra health benefits.

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