Winter Vegetable Dal


Cold days call for warm soups. This winter vegetable dal delivers a warm deliciousness to your tummy. Full of notable Indian spices and deep flavors, it provides a sensational dish without tedious hours of cooking. Within an hour, you can easily create a dish worthy of family night and friendly parties.

Dal refers to a thick stew prepared from dried lentils, peas or beans that have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. The dish is normally paired with rice or bread as a soaking agent to the soup. Dal is a staple food for much of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal known as Dal Baht–literally dal and rice. Dal has an exceptional nutritional profile. It is typically around 25% protein by weight, particularly for those adopting vegetarian diets. It is virtually fat-free and rich with B vitamins, folic acid, iron and zinc.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I suggest using coconut oil for the natural health benefits.
  2. I was unable to find brown mustard seeds; I believe mine were simply called mustard seeds but were yellow.
  3. I used a bay leaf in place of curry leaves. It was what I had in the pantry; the point is to create spice flavor.
  4. Dice the Serrano pepper finely and remove the seeds.
  5. I suggest grating the ginger finely rather than chopping it. The pieces become too small and are difficult to chop.
  6. I used red lentils found in the natural section of my grocery store, but you can use any type of lentils available.
  7. Use “lite” coconut milk whenever possible. The point is to create creaminess without killing your waistline.wintervegetabledal2
  8. Tumeric and garam masala are the important spices to achieve the Indian flavors. Tumeric provides a distinctive, yellow color, and garam masala adds the punch of spice.
  9. Peel, de-seed and cube the butternut squash. The pieces need to be small enough to cook in 20 minutes.
  10. Cube the potato in similar fashion because they will have the same cook times.
  11. I broke my cauliflower into roughly one
    inch florets.
  12. Heating the spices brings their flavors to life and makes the room smell scrumptious.
  13. Frequently stir the ingredients to keep them from burning. Cooking it uncovered keeps the temperature in your control.

I love recreating Indian dishes. Rarely people make these inspiring meals because they are heavily dressed in spices; however, I love the depth of flavor that is created in every inch of the dal. I am constantly surprised at the ease of making such dishes. I am even more shocked to find a way to make the meal healthier. The dish accomplishes both while maintaining flavor and integrity.

Leave a comment with your favorite Indian recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.


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