OK, let me just state for the record: I think we’re designed to eat meat. We have eyes that face forwards for catching things that run away and incisors to tear them up with. So don’t get me wrong here I’m not suggesting that you become some sort of freaky vegan… not permanently at least.
But you might want to think about it when it comes to the backcountry. In the hills going vegetarian does have its advantages; vegetables are generally lighter than their carnivorous counterparts and they’re much easier to keep fresh. The trick is finding recipes that taste good and have enough protein to keep you going.
This Lemon Dahl recipe ticks both those boxes. It has more protein than the primordial soup and tastes so good you might even be tempted to relinquish your position atop the food chain when you get home.
Serves: Two people
Cooking time: 30min
Fuel: 250ml white spirit, or 90g camping gas*
*Based on an MSR Whisperlite burning white spirit at sea level.
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp mild curry powder
- the rind of ½ a lemon – finely grated
- 1 cup orange split lentils, well washed
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 50g dried onion flakes
- 50g dried green beans
- 50g dried mushrooms
Soak the lentils in cold water for 30 minutes and rehydrate the onion flakes. Next, heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan and fry the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds until the seeds begin to pop. Then add the onion and garlic and cook for another few minutes.
Toss in the lentils, curry, turmeric, vegetables and lemon rind, and add enough water to just cover the mixture. Bring it to the boil and then cover and simmer until it reaches a thin porridge like consistency, adding the soy sauce and tomato paste at the last minute.