Thursday, May 28, 2015

Low Iodine: Indian flavors

The cookbooks I turn to again and again on the low-iodine diet are almost all Indian. Many, many Indian recipes can be adapted for the low-iodine diet. Up until 2 years ago, when I really began researching gourmet recipes for the low-iodine regime, I had a picture in my mind of Indian food being full of dairy. Then a cursory page-through of one of my favorite books turned up a dozen recipes that could be made without substitutions. The complex spicing and fresh herbs wake up everything.

"Indian cuisine" is a pretty generic phrase. "Cuisines" is more accurate, as modern India encompasses a huge area and over a billion people.

This recipe is truly satisfying, especially with a small portion of Basmati rice.

Masoor Dal


1 cup whole red lentils
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
2 - 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger root, grated
2 green chilies (I use serrano) seeded and minced
1 bunch coriander, washed, spun dry, and roughly chopped

  • Rinse the lentil thoroughly in several changes of water
  • Put the washed lentils into a large saucepan with 3-3.5 cups of water with the turmeric, garam masala, and kosher salt
  • Bring to a simmer, then turn down the flame and cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring often, adding more water as necessary to keep the texture creamy.
  • Heat oil in wok. When oil is hot, add onions and cook until tender and translucent but not browned.
  • Add garlic, ginger and chillies. Continue to saute until garlic is fully cooked. Add garam masala and chili powder.
  • Do not allow spices to burn. Keep stirring until mixture starts to stick. And immediately pour this over the cooked dal.
  • Stir and let simmer to blend in the flavors. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.