It is here! It is finally here!
I know I have been promising y’all a dal recipe for some time. And I have finally got around to posting about it. I know it makes absolutely no sense for me to be posting a warm, stew-like creature of a meal during some of the hottest days we have had thus far, but I cannot help myself! It is just so rich, so filling, and yet made of wholesome ingredients.
Plus, when warm stew-like creations ever stop me before? I’m melting and still rocking this.
I’ve told you guys a lot about how my cooking journey started. My mom was the queen of getting me to help her out. If you can imagine trying to convince a ten year old to chop onions instead of watch cartoons, you will understand how difficult this actually is. However, while I learned all of the techniques of cooking at home, I started to master combining flavors once I got to college. I would say it is because college has some problems of “scarcity”
Not that the all you can eat buffets have any problem with scarcity.
No, I am talking about when I had to start cooking for myself. I was on a more limited meal plan and had to learn quickly how to feed myself more than cereal and mac and cheese. This combined with my first Trader Joe’s and a love of Pinterest let me expand my culinary horizons. I was trying to figure out how to make a meal out of oatmeal, mango, beans, and greens on a daily basis. And hey, I figured it out (although there was a TON of trial and error). One of the first things I learned to cook was this dal. And y’all it is so cosy and comforting that I swear it would be similar to the feelings you would get if lentils could give you a hug. The version of dal I make is with red lentils. And once I made this recipe, I could not stop eating it. We’re talking having dal for weeks on end. Seriously, I could not get enough.
One of the first things I cooked my friends was this dal recipe. I remember the nerves I felt. What if they did not like the spice blend I was using? What if the lentils burn and I have to still serve it to them? However, they loved it! I was so shocked. Even my really good friend who normally does not love spicy food said it was a hit!
And if that is not an endorsement, then I don’t know what it!
These red split lentil cook up surprisingly fast for pulses (that’s the fancy word for lentils). It only takes me 20 minutes to get this from stovetop to plate. It really is that easy to have a healthy, nutritious, and affordable dinner. You can serve the dal with all of the traditional accompaniments. You know, things like rice, raita, and my personal favorite: naan. However, my absolute favorite way to have dal is stuffed inside of a sweet potato. I know that is not very traditional, but it is so damn tasty. Top with yogurt, pepitas, pomegranate seeds, or cilantro, and you’ve got yourself one HELL of a meal.
Actually, let’s all assume we threw down all of these toppings. Aka just the way I like.
Serves 4 Bowls
15 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1.5 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flake
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 2/3 cup split red lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- 1 bunch spinach, kale, or baby spinach
- pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 425°F
Pierce sweet potatoes with a small knife, then wrap them in aluminum foil. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the potato can be easily pierced with a small knife. Set aside.
Cook the dal while the potatoes are cooking. Heat oil or ghee in a medium, heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until the onion and garlic is brown and caramelized, approximately 5-6 minutes. You can lower the heat if the onion/garlic mixture starts getting too brown. Add raisins, tomato paste, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, and chili flake. Stir until you can start smelling the spices, approximately 1 minute.
Add carrot and lentils and stir to coat with the spices. Add broth and give the mixture a good stir. Heat to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 20-25 minutes. If the lentils are still hard, but most of the liquid is absorbed, you can add a little more water or vegetable broth. Remove from the heat once the lentils have lost their shape and dissolved. Add chopped tomato and spinach. Stir until the tomato and spinach are coated in the lentils. Generously season with salt and pepper.
To serve, make a cut on top of the sweet potato and squeeze ends to open. Add a couple of spoonfuls of dal in the potato. A lot of it ends up outside of the potato, but if you prefer, you can scoop out the middle. Serve with spoonfuls of yogurt and sprinkle with pepitas, pomegranate seeds, and cilantro. EAT
Count me in for this lentil hug!