We asked friends of East by West, over on My-urveda, to share a favourite Ayurveda-inspired recipe with us:

Butter bean dal is one of yoga teacher, nutrition expert and best-selling author Julie Montagu's go-to recipes for when she wants something hot and tasty, as it is easy and versatile. Really anything goes: if you can't get your hands on butter beans, you can swap them out for chickpeas, white beans or kidney beans.  — and you can use mung dal instead of the red split lentils to make this recipe your own. Then it's just a case of chopping up some veg and popping it into a pot — easy-peasy!

SPICY butter bean dal

Serves 4



  • 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock

  • 100g (1⁄2 cup + 1 tablespoon) uncooked split red lentils

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 x 400g tin (11⁄3 cups) butter (lima) beans*, drained and rinsed

  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach

  • wholemeal (whole-wheat) naan breads, to serve


  1. Place all the ingredients except the butter beans and spinach in a saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Add the butter beans, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

  2. Add the spinach and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

  3. Serve with some yummy wholemeal naan breads and enjoy this super pot of healthy wholesomeness!

This recipe is taken from Julie Montagu's cookbook Superfoods Superfast: 100 energizing recipes to make in 20 minutes or less.

East by West Tip - fresh, home-cooked beans* are easier on the digestion although they do take a while to cook (and must be soaked first). For a gluten-free bread alternative try the roti recipes on page 63 of East by West.