This recipe is based on one I found in Eating Well magazine a couple of years ago. It has become a winter staple–it is easy and relatively quick. Dal refers to lentils, in this case red lentils. I have included turnips and potatoes from this week’s winter share. Feel free to add/substitute ingredients. I have made this with and without coconut milk, and both turn out well. If you omit coconut milk, I recommend using vegetable or chicken broth in place of the water. You can also add other vegetables like winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower.
Winter Vegetable Dal
2 tbs coconut or canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
1 serrano chile, chopped [I used a chile that I dried from one of the fall boxes–I believe it was either a serrano or cayenne]
3 tbs finely chopped ginger
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 1/2 cups water–or vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 potatoes–peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 large golden globe turnip–chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 tsp garam masala or curry powder
2 tbs red curry paste (optional–I just like Thai Kitchen curry pastes.)
Heat oil over medium high heat in a large pot. Add cumin seeds and cook for about 20 seconds. Add onion, chile, ginger, and garlic, and cook until the onions start to brown, about five minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add bay leaf, water, lentils, coconut milk, salt, and turmeric. Stir frequently to keep lentils from sticking, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and turnips. Bring to a boil. Add curry powder and curry paste. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender–about 20-25 minutes.
This can be served on its own as a soup, accompanied by naan or flatbread. Or, as pictured here, serve over basmati or jasmine rice. You can also serve it with Siracha, as seen in the photo.
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