Nothing beats a steaming bowl of creamy lentil dal during the cooler fall/winter evenings. Lentil dal is one of the easiest dishes to make and is a lifesaver to have on hand in the fridge or freezer when you’ve come home after a long day and are chilled to the bone. It is a great base to add to a bed of leafy greens or to enjoy with a serving of grains such as quinoa or brown rice.
Lentils are one of the best staples to have in your pantry. Lentils are a small but a nutritionally mighty member of the legume family and are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar issues since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. There’s about 15 grams of fibre in one cup of cooked lentils. They are also packed with iron – one cup has about 8 milligrams (the daily requirement of iron is 18 milligrams for women). Lentils make for a great plant-based protein option. There is 18 grams of protein per cup.
Since lentils do have about 40 grams of carbs per cooked cup, I would recommend enjoying this dish with leafy greens to balance the carb to protein ratio. That being said, it is important to listen to your body and if you need more carbs with this meal, adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of cooked grains would be a great option as well. I usually toss chopped kale or arugula into my bowl of warming dal. The cinnamon, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and turmeric offer warming and anti-inflammatory benefits. In the winter, it is important to add warming spices such as cinnamon, curry, and ginger to meals. It offers an additional warming effect to the body (almost acting like a cozy blanket!). Turmeric and ginger also offer anti-inflammatory benefits and are great spices to include in foods all year round. You can never get enough of them! Garam masala is a new spice that I’ve recently added to my spice rack. It is so warming and enhances the taste profile of this dish immensely!
I like to make a double batch and freeze half for when I am in a pinch and need to put together a last minute, warm meal. I hope this comforting meal brings you warmth on a cool winter day.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large carrot, sliced lengthwise and chopped
- 1 cup dried lentils (green, red or brown)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (from the can)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
How to Make:
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion until it is golden brown
- Add the lentils, potato, carrot, and spices, and stir to combine
- Add the water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, or until the lentils and sweet potato are tender.
- Stir in the 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm on a bed of greens or grains