|For the sweet potato dal|
|3 cloves||(0.32 oz)|
|½ tsp||(0.08 oz)|
|¼ tsp||(0.03 oz)|
|¼ tsp||(0.02 oz)|
|250 ml||(8.7 oz)|
|3 ¼ oz|
|5 ½ oz|
|1 dash||(0.01 oz)|
For the sweet potato dal
Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, add to the pot, and sauté for a minute.
The author uses a small onion for this recipe.
Add the chili pepper flakes and continue to cook until all the water has cooked off. Stir in the turmeric and garam masala.
Add the broth and uncooked lentils and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Peel the sweet potato and dice into small ½-inch cubes. Add the cubed sweet potato to the lentil mixture, bring to a boil again, and then reduce to low and simmer until lentils are fully cooked (they expand and the sauce thickens), about 5 minutes more.
Check periodically to see if you need additional broth (the author usually adds an extra ½ cup, but it can vary).
This recipe calls for “1 sweet potato.” The sweet potato should actually be on the smaller side. If your sweet potato is quite large, only use half.
Seasoning and serving
Once lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are fork tender, taste the dal, adding more garam masala as desired. Add spinach, continuing to stir until spinach cooks down and softens. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
The author recommends doubling the amount of garam masala but be careful; some blends are much stronger tasting than others.
The original recipe calls for 4 cups of spinach. This is about 120 grams.
This recipe for sweet potato dal with spinach and turmeric plus a low-sodium vegetable broth makes a quick and delicious meal and is a good source of protein.
Dal: Dal is a typical Indian dish that is usually made with legumes like chickpeas or lentils. Through the cooking process, the legumes get quite soft. Dal is typically spiced with cumin, onion, chili, and other Indian spices.
Red lentils: Thanks to their high-quality proteins, lentils are a very good source of plant protein for vegans. However, you should be aware that they contain a relatively small amount of the essential amino acid methionine. Adding rice or beans to lentil dishes rounds out the amino acids needed. The different types of lentils, which are all round and flat, differ not only in size but also in color. Red lentils come from India and are particularly known from the national dish dal. As they are already peeled, they cook quickly and turn into a kind of purée. And you don’t have to soak them ahead of time. Since they are hulled, they take on the taste of the spices well.
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not actually potatoes. While they grow as underground tubers, in contrast to regular potatoes they are not part of the nightshade family. Sweet potato leaves are edible and are a food staple in many tropical countries. They have a high water content and as such can’t be stored for long periods of time like regular potatoes. However, careful handling (e.g., avoiding bruises) can extend the storage life. Since certain varieties contain an appreciable amount of hydrogen cyanide, you should carefully select the type of sweet potato you will be using. A large variety of both sweet and savory dishes can be prepared using sweet potatoes. These tubers are available in a range of colors, including yellow with red skin, orange-red with reddish-brown skin, and white with light-colored skin.
Turmeric: Turmeric, also called Indian saffron, is from South Asia and is in the ginger family. While fresh turmeric has a somewhat bitter and slightly spicy flavor, dried turmeric, as it is generally found in India, is milder with just a touch of bitterness. Turmeric is best stored for shorter periods of time in a dark place; otherwise, it will lose color and flavor.
Garam masala: Garam masala is an Indian spice mix that contains black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and cumin. Chili pepper and coriander seeds are often added to it. You can buy it at Indian grocery stores, in well-stocked supermarkets, or online, and it is available as a ground spice mix, mix with whole spices, or as a paste. When it has not been processed, it can be stored longer without any loss of flavor.
Low-sodium vegetable broth: We use reduced-sodium vegetable broth to decrease the amount of salt with no resulting decrease in flavor. Use your preferences as a guideline when adding salt to this dish. For some interesting reading on this subject, we suggest the book Salt, Sugar, Fat.
Vegan vegetable broth: You will significantly reduce the amount of sodium used by making salt-free vegetable broth. Access our recipe using this link: Vegan Stock. You can adjust the amount of broth you use depending on how concentrated it is. You can also add salt before serving if you feel it is needed.