Baby Carrots & Mung Dhal with Coriander, Turmeric & Marigolds

There’s always something more to ponder and run through the ‘kindness test’ when it comes to food. I love that. The never ending joining of dots that helps you make your way to your own cooking style. I’m always up for an extra helping of information to add to whatever I’m eating and the latest little nugget has come in the form of ‘intent’, as in, cooking with it. We’ve all seen ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ – we know how our moods can effect what we’re cooking, but whether that’s because a ‘good’ mood has us at our most alert and we follow a series of steps with more discernment, and a ‘bad’ mood has us rushing through the process just to get it done, or it’s something entirely more ethereal than that, something we can’t really include on an ingredient list – I’m not sure. My inner hippy is shouting, “it’s LOVE!” Could be a name for it. Anyway I figured it’d be interesting to play with the idea further. When I remembered.


That’s part of this whole thing I think, remembering to remember to check what frame of mind you’re in, before the spoon hits the bottom of the pan, or your knife starts chopping veggies. I can imagine not everyone wants to be ‘present’ when they’re cooking because I guess not everyone loves doing it, but I found it was way easier to take note of my headspace if I started the process while I was wandering through the garden deciding what to pick. It was kind of started for me by the sheer gratitude I feel for just being able to have a garden. Growing your own food and enjoying cooking – another couple of dots joined?


Zen masters aside, not all of us are going to add grace to every dish we put on the table, but after reading about the concept and including this in our kitchen over the past 6 months or so, I think my inner hippy may be onto something. Maybe that amazing way-down-deep kind of nourishment isn’t just about what we can see going into the pot?


Alrighty then, the recipe…


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Baby Carrots & Mung Dhal with Coriander, Turmeric & Marigolds


10-12 organic baby carrots with tops

1 cup organic mung bean dhal

2 fresh organic bay leaves

3 organic cloves

2 cm piece organic fresh ginger

1 piece organic fresh turmeric root

1 big handful organic coriander leaves

1/4 cup organic hempseeds

1/4 cup organic lemon olive oil, ‘agrumato’

3-4 organic marigold flowers

sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


Cook the mung dhal in enough water to cover it completely. Add a slice of fresh ginger, the cloves and bay leaves while it simmers. It won’t take anywhere near as long as a lot of other pulses, so keep an eye on it to avoid it turning to mush. About 10 minutes should do it, or until it is just tender but still holding its shape.

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Remove from heat and then drain and remove the bay leaves, ginger and cloves. Salt to taste.


Cut the leafy tops off of the carrots and keep to put into the pesto. Cut the carrots in halves along their length and wash.

Heat a griddle pan and grill the carrots until tender but with a crisp centre. Salt to taste and drizzle with lemon olive oil.


To make the pesto, add the coriander leaves, carrot tops, fresh turmeric, fresh ginger and a good glug of lemon olive oil to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Salt to taste.


To assemble, spoon the mung dhal onto a plate, topped with the carrots and dobs of pesto, and sprinkle the plucked marigold petals and hempseeds over everything. Drizzle with extra lemon olive oil and season to taste.

NB. This pesto is good on almost everything from brown rice to tofu burgers, pasta and quinoa so don’t be afraid to make a big jar to keep in the fridge. The goodness of raw turmeric, ginger and coriander in every meal!