As I have never been to India, my only experience with dal comes from local Indian restaurants with vegan specialties that make my heart flutter, and a handful of how-to’s online. After some trial and error, learning about tempering – as in cooking the spices a bit, and testing out a variety of flavors – this dal with added sweet potato and spinach is my favorite take on the traditional. As the red lentils cook and turn quite mushy, (in a good way!) the sweet potato pieces become incredibly soft and sweet, especially when they’re infused with spice from turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Coconut milk makes the whole pot of goodness extra creamy and spinach adds in a little green and contrasting texture. While the whole pot cooks on the stove – for a mere 20 or so minutes – the aromas in your kitchen will completely mellow you out and make you so happy; dal just smells so good! —Kate
What You'll Need
medium sweet potato, skin scrubbed
cloves of garlic, minced
freshly ground ginger
red pepper flakes
(or handful) fresh spinach
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (to garnish)
sea salt, to taste
Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add sweet potato, onion, and garlic to the pan and gently sauté for 5 minutes.
Add in spices and lentils and stir to coat with oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spices become fragrant.
Pour in water and coconut milk and bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat and let simmer on the stove about 20 minutes – stirring every so often until dal turns into a thick and soupy mixture.
About 5 minutes before serving, add in a big pinch of sea salt to taste and a big handful of baby spinach. Let spinach cook and wilt before serving.
Serve dal hot with brown rice and a loving handful of chopped cilantro. Enjoy!