Thursday, January 28, 2016

Veggie-Packed Red Lentil Dal {Vegan}

We spent a quick four days in Boston last weekend to watch our good friends get married (and to watch Z preside over their wedding!). It was a whirlwind trip, filled with lots of friends, family, and way too much food and booze. By the time we got home late Monday night, I was ready for a diet (and a good night's sleep). After waking up Tuesday, I laughed off the "diet" idea, but still was craving something nutritious. And with that, this dish was born.

Veggie-Packed Red Lentil Dal | A Hoppy Medium

Veggie-Packed Red Lentil Dal
Yields: 4 generous servings
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium yellow onion, diced
-3 large garlic cloves, minced
-1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
-3 large carrots, peeled and diced 
-Curry powder
-Ground cumin
-Ground turmeric
-Pinch of cayenne
-1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
-1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
-1/2 cup frozen peas
-1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
-2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more if needed to thin the sauce
-Salt and black pepper, to taste
-1 5-ounce package baby spinach
-Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
-Basmati rice and warm naan, for serving

1.) Add the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
2.) Stir in the ginger and carrots, and continue cooking for another few minutes over medium heat.
Add the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir well and cook for just a minute, until fragrant.
3.) Pick over and rinse the lentils in a fine mesh sieve. (Or, place a paper towel over a strainer and rinse them that way). Stir in the can of coconut milk, diced tomatoes, peas, lentils, broth, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan. (At this point, feel free to stir in a bit more broth if you'd like a slightly thinner consistency). After cooking, stir in all of the spinach until wilted.
4.) Serve garnished with cilantro and over Basmati rice, with warm naan on the side.

Veggie-Packed Red Lentil Dal | A Hoppy Medium

I love Indian food for a lot of reasons, but the aromatic spices, tons of vegetables, and protein-packed lentils really did it for me with this dish. As always, I never actually measure my spices, so just add sparingly at first and taste along the way to make sure the dish is at the spice and flavor level you want. 

What's your favorite veggie-packed meal? 

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