Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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Wellbody Recipe: Rich Creamy Dal (Fat-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free)


Golden with turmeric and fragrant with spices, this creamy soup gets its richness from long-simmered legumes and sweetly caramelized onions rather than fatty dairy products.

A staple comfort food—and affordable protein—for millions of people in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the rippling diaspora, the soupy stew (called dal in Hindi) is often eaten with rice or flatbread making a complete protein nutritionaly comparable to meat. Free of dairy, gluten, added sugars and animal fats, dal is high in fiber, rich in B vitamins including thiamine and folic acid and an excellent source of iron and zinc.

Because of the protein and fiber, it has good staying power, so helps stave off post-meal snack urges. Excellent accompaniment to salad. 

You can make dal with yellow pigeon peas, split chickpeas (Chana dal), yellow split peas, dried mung beans, black-eyed peas, red lentils, kidney beans or legume combinations. Though dried, these legumes are all relatively small with simmer times under an hour or so. Once you start simmering the dried legume with the turmeric, resist the urge to stir. This is not risotto! Let the legumes fall apart on their own. 

Here’s a dal recipe to start you off, but feel free to adapt, improvise and explore by typing “dal recipe” in your search engine.

Let us know how it goes and please share your favorite dal recipes with us by commenting below or emailing professorwellbody@pacsci.org.

Wellbody Tip

Double the recipe and freeze the leftovers in small, single-serve mason jars. (Don’t fill to the top or the jar may crack when the liquid expands as it freezes.) Grab a jar from the freezer to take to school or work. Microwave for a warm, satisfying lunch.

Wellbody Recipe: Golden Dal

Serves 4
Prep time and cook time: about 1 hour
• 1 cup split chickpeas (chana dal)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
• ½ t ground cardamom
• 1 t ground cumin
• 1 t whole cumin seed
• 1 t mustard seed
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 T coconut oil or olive oil
• 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 tomato, chopped.
• 1 teaspoon crushed-red-chili flakes (optional)
• 3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
 Combine the chana dal, turmeric, cardamom, ground cumin, salt and 4 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, partly covered, for 40 minutes. The legumes should be soft and as moist as a  smoothie; if not, add a cup of water as needed.  Cook for another 20 minutes until the dal is like thick split pea soup. Turn off the heat and use a whisk, immersion blender, or Indian mathani to whip the dal until it’s mostly smooth.
While the dal is cooking, heat the oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sizzle the whole cumin seed and mustard seed for about 30 seconds until fragrant and beginning to pop. Add the onion, then the garlic and reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Stir in (optional) chili flakes and tomato, simmer for 5 more minutes.
Stir the onion-spice mixture into the dal. Top with cilantro and serve with rice, and flatbread, or take-it-to-go and slurp warm from a mason jar.


  • Guest
    Smithg693 Saturday, 10 May 2014

    Ovver the course of the initial period, they began tto form grooup gceceabkfbckeked

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Guest Saturday, 25 April 2015