Vegan Christmas recipes – Rainbow Dhal

vegan christmas recipe rainbhow dhal
| Mind & Body > Vegetarian

Each layer of this tricoloured vegan dhal loaf can be used to create delicious Christmas leftovers that are culinary marvels in their own right. Fabulous vegan Christmas recipe ideas from Ayurvedic expert Keith Squires.

Pulses are not only incredibly nutritious but are also amazingly colourful. We are going to take full advantage of this wonder of nature to create a multicoloured dish. We are even using our favourite Christmas colours – red, green and gold.

The red layer is based on aduki beans, the green using moong beans, then lentils or split moong for gold.

Pulses are also incredibly versatile. They can be cooked to a soupy consistency like a sauce. Made slightly thicker as a stew or a firmer consistency to make a bake. These recipes are designed to be quite firm so they will sit next to each other and stay separate in a serving dish.

If left to stand and then chilled the dhal becomes much firmer. This can then be used to make a layered loaf or filling for a flan, or Rainbow Loaf.

Leftover dhal is also incredibly versatile. It can be served cold as a sort of bean pate. Made into rissoles and fried or baked. Add more stock, vegetables and spices to make a different stew or soup.

Red layer – aduki beans

  • 100g aduki beans washed and soaked overnight
  • 200ml stock
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Pinch chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add the stock and beans to a pan. Bring to the boil then cover with a lid and simmer for about 35 minutes until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add more stock if it dries out too quickly.

Melt the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is softened then add the tomatoes, chilli and paprika. Cook until the tomatoes turn into a pulp. Add this to the beans with the tomato puree. Reheat and simmer for a few minutes. If it is too runny leave the lid off so it thickens.

Leftover Tips:

It can be served cold as a red pate. Made into rissoles and fried or baked. Add more stock, vegetables and spices to make an aduki stew. As a striking red pie filling or vegetable stuffing.

Gold layer – mung beans

  • 100g split yellow mung beans
  • 300ml stock
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cm of ginger peeled
  • 1 cm of fresh turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • Pinch asafoetida
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp jaggery (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grind the garlic and ginger to a paste using a pestle and mortar or a food processor.

Melt the oil in a pan and add a few of the mustard seeds. When they start to crackle add the remain seeds. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Allow the seeds to finish crackling, remove from the stove and carefully add a handful of the chopped onion. Then the powdered spices. Stir then add the rest of the onion and garlic / ginger paste. Now reheat the pan and fry for a minute or two. Off the heat carefully add 50 ml of stock and return to the hob and simmer with a lid for a few minutes. Remove the lid and allow the excess water to evaporate so it is frying again in the oil.

Now add the moong beans and the rest of the stock. Simmer and cover for about 20 minutes until the beans are soft. Add the jaggery and season to taste. Reheat and simmer for a few minutes. If it is too runny leave the lid off so it thickens.

Leftover tips:

It can be served cold as a yellow pate. Made into rissoles and fried or baked. Add more stock, vegetables and spices to make an dhal. Add to cooked rice to make kitcheri. As a striking yellow pie filling or vegetable stuffing.

Green layer – moong beans and spinach

  • 100g whole moong beans washed and soaked overnight
  • 200ml stock
  • 1 onion
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 200g spinach sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Drain the moong beans and add to a pan with the stock. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the beans are soft. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil till tender add the turmeric. Add the spinach and cook until it is reduced. Add to the beans and simmer until they start to break up a bit. If it is too runny leave the lid off so it thickens.

Leftover tips:

It can be served cold as a green pate. Made into rissoles and fried or baked. Add more stock, vegetables and spices to make a dhal. Add to cooked brown rice to make kitcheri. Serve as a striking green pie filling or vegetable stuffing.

Keith Squires is a vegetarian chef with over 30 years of experience who has even been asked to advise Parliament about plant-based eating, so he knows his stuff. See more vegan inspiration on keithonfood.com.

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