Indian food offers so much depth, flavor and interesting spices but often it is made with loads of sauce, butter and fat. South Indian cooking is usually lighter, fresher and less saucy. I go for easy to fix, fresh Indian inspired dishes when I am craving Indian fare at home. I got this Dal recipe at an Ayurvedic cooking class I took several years ago. It is so versatile. Fast, easy, healthy and very good for you. This Lentil Dal with Sweet Potato version is substantial enough as a main meal with Basmati Rice but you can also add spinach, chick peas, coconut or vegetables to amp up the nutrients. I reheat this, let it thicken and use it as a dip with toasted naan. Serve it with Chutney and Yogurt Raita. One of my go to recipes for a cupboard dinner or to take as an appetizer to a get together.
Lentil Dal w/Sweet Potato
Yield 4 servings
You can use a variety of additions to this recipe. Spinach, Chick Peas or regular Potatoes can all be added as well as a sprinkle of Coconut. Curry Leaves are an important flavor for this dish. Find them at Asian stores or dried in the spice aisle. You can make this in the Instant Pot, but it cooks fast and easy on the stove also.
- Ghee or Neutral Oil
- 2 cups Red Lentils, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Black Mustard Seed
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 2 stalks fresh Curry Leaves, pulled off the stalk or a palmful of Dried Curry Leaves
- 2 teaspoons Turmeric
- 1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped
- 3-4 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1-2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- Heat a generous dollop of Ghee in a large pot until very hot
- Toss in the Mustard Seeds and fry until they pop 1-2 minutes
- Add the Onions (be careful of spattering)
- Fry a minute or two until they soften a bit
- Add the Curry Leaves and stir and fry 1-2 minutes
- Add the Lentils, Broth, Turmeric and Salt
- Bring to a boil and add Sweet Potatoes
- Turn to low and simmer about 15-20 minutes, stirring often and adding more broth as needed
- You want a creamy consistency
- Serve over Rice with Chutney as an accompaniment.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Use the Saute setting and heat the oil or Ghee until hot
- Toss in the Mustard Seeds and cook for 30 seconds
- Add the Onion and cook for 1 minute
- Add the rinsed Lentils, Sweet Potatoes, Broth, Salt, Turmeric and Curry Leaves
- Give it a good stir then switch the Pot to Manual, close the pressure value and set for 10 minutes
- Let pressure come down 5 minutes, then release the valve.
- Serve with Chutney and/or simple Yogurt Raita (yogurt with shredded cucumber, crushed garlic and lemon juice)