My husband's family is East Indian, so I have been eating flavourful lentil-based stew or dal for decades. Throw in some sweet potato, and you have my kinda winter comfort food. It may not look fancy, but it is super tasty and satisfying.
This dal is made with red lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, ginger, turmeric, and other wonderful spices traditionally used in Indian cooking. I have also added both bone broth and bone broth protein powder. You can read more about the benefits of collagen and bone broth in my article, "The Gut Microbiome and the Gut-Brain-Axis". Note that these can be omitted for vegetarian diets.
Lentils have a slightly nutty, earthy flavour and are rich in protein as well as soluble and insoluble fibre. They are a great source of essential minerals including magnesium, folate and iron. Studies suggest that lentil consumption can help to stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve digestive and possibly even cardiovascular health.
This recipe makes 7 to 8 cups of dal. It freezes well.
2 Tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups diced sweet potato
2 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups red lentils
1 cup plain Greek or coconut yogurt (optional)
4 cups bone broth or water or vegetable broth or a combination
2 scoops Organika Health Ginger Bone Broth Powder (optional)
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 green cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1. Put oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and pepper, and stir until spices fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
2. Add sweet potato, carrots and onion. Stir well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add lentils and stir until well-combined.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, until lentils are well-cooked and vegetables tender.
4. Remove cardamom and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. I like this dal on its own with a simple salad of greens and avocado. It's also great with flatbread (naan or roti), brown rice, quinoa, or grain-free cauliflower "rice".
This recipe was originally published on January 10, 2018. It was updated December 7, 2018.