Winter Vegetable Dahl
As the holiday season winds down, it seems as though cold and flu season is just starting to rev up, for me anyway. I’ve ben waking up to itchy ears, a stuffy nose and a nasty sinus headache. For the last two weeks I’ve been teaching skiing to children under the age of five, which has left me exhausted (I’m partially attributing my oncoming illness to this). I’m also attributing my terrible back pain to the constant lifting and dragging of small children up and down a ski hill. I was at the chiropractor today and his comment was “wow, you’re really stiff”, I would like to call this the understatement of the year.
When I’m not feeling 100% I have several rather unconventional ways of fighting off illness. I’m not a big fan of pounding down the meds and hoping for the best, honestly I think that method is more harmful than it is helpful. One of my tried and true illness-be-gone strategies is consuming spicy food. When I feel a cold, or any other malady, coming on I turn up the heat by adding siracha or cayenne pepper to almost everything I eat.
This afternoon, after a long, windy and extraordinarily cold morning (-6 feels like -31???) at work I, I came home and whipped up a big batch of Dahl. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Dahl, it is essentially a curry dish that is bulked up with lentils. In India, Dal is the name assigned to dried and split pulses, i.e. lentils. In the depths of a Canadian winter, or any winter for that matter, a hardy, delicious and nutritious Dahl simply cannot be beat.
Dahls store very well and are a great thing to have on hand in the fridge for a quick ready to eat meal. They are also quite versatile as you can use a variety of different types of lentils, veggies and spices. This Dahl recipe uses tasty winter veg to create a deliciously satisfying meal with a bit of kick.
Winter Vegetable Dahl
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 russet potatoes (about 400g)
- 2 carrots
- 1 cup red split lentils
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups spinach
In a deep frying pan or large saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Finely dice the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Sauté over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize.
Peel and finely dice the potatoes and carrots, then add them to the frying pan. Allow all the veggies to cook for a further 10 minutes to allow the carrots and potatoes to soften a bit. Stir every few minutes to prevent burning.
Add the lentils, spices and tomato paste to the pan and stir so that everything gets evenly coated in spices and paste. Mix in the coconut milk and the water. Bring the Dahl up to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Be sure to stir often to prevent the Dahl from sticking to the pan.
In the last minute of cooking, stir in the spinach until it wilts. Serve the Dahl on its own or with rice. It can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.