vegetable diaries

Posts Tagged ‘dal’

spice up your butternut!

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 18, 2012

there are lots of butternuts hanging around right now.. and maybe there is even one lurking in your kitchen. thanksgiving is four days away, and if you’re wondering what to do with these little or not so little lovelies i strongly suggest you give this recipe a try! i love turning the butternuts into fries, roasts, and soups, and today i cooked up a dal-vegetable stew from madhu gadia’s cookbook, the indian vegan kitchen. i love her cookbook.. and it’s one where you will refer to again and again. you can learn more about her here. anyways, back to the dal. the result was a creamy, spicy, savory, minty (yes, minty!) and a little bit of tangy dal stew! i topped it off with a hint of fresh cilantro. i think this would be a perfect dish at a thanksgiving meal. i know first hand that vegans tend to miss out on t-u-r-k-e-y day; the day of EATING! i know that i certainly don’t want mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls for my t-day dinner. give this recipe a try and you will be sure to please your vegetable-eaters.

p.s. i doubled the recipe since i wanted to use my entire butternut squash, and i froze half of it. i also cooked it in a big pot, not a pressure cooker. i also only pre-soaked my lentils for about 1/2 hour.

p.s.s. this is by far one of my favourite dals!

Dal-Vegetable Stew (Dhan-Saak) from The Indian Vegan Kitchen by Madhu Gadia


1/3 cup (split, hulled) toor dal

1/3 cup (split, hulled) mung dal

1/3 cup pink lentils

3 cups water

1 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 cups butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes


1 tbsp garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2-1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped

1 tsp tamarind paste or 2 tbsp tamarind sauce

1/4 cup water

3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1. Combine toor dal, mung dal, and lentils. Wash in 3 to 4 changes of water and drain.

2. (For best results, cook in a pressure cooker. To cook in a skillet, see note below.) In a pressure cooker, add dal, 2 cups of water, turmeric, salt, squash, and eggplant. Cover the lid and put the pressure weight in place. Once pressure develops, reduce heat, and cook under pressure for 5 minutes. Cool the cooker until the pressure is removed. Open the lid carefully. The beans and vegetables should be very soft. Stir a few times.

3. In the meantime, prepare the paste: In a blender, combine garlic, ginger, tomatoes, cumin seeds, garam masala, coriander, cayenne pepper, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, cilantro, mint leaves, tamarind paste, and water. Grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.

4. In a large fry pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and fry 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Add the paste and fry until oil separates, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Add the dal mixture to the onion paste. Stir to coat dal mixture with the spices. Add 1/2 cup water, or more as needed, for desired consistency. (Mixture should have a thick, stew-like consistency.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Serve hot over a bed of rice.

Note: To cook in a skillet:  After washing dals as instructed in step 1 above, soak the dals for 2 hours or longer. Drain dals. Combine drained dals, 4 cups of water, salt, turmeric, squash, and eggplant. Bring dal to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the dals and vegetables are very soft. Stir to smooth consistency. Follow steps 3 to 6 to finish cooking.

dal-vegetable stew

i also had a salad with fresh greens i bought from my local market.. i thinly sliced up some radishes and added balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked black pepper & salt. i couldn’t resist not taking a picture..

lettuces & paper thin radishes

Posted in cookbooks, gluten-free-friendly, indian, recipes, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

oh my dal- recipe

Posted by vegetablediaries on August 28, 2009

oh my dal with cilantro flower garnish

oh my dal with cilantro flower garnish

there are countless ways to prepare the indian classic, dal. however this recipe is simple and delicious, and only takes under 30 minutes from start to finish if you use a pressure cooker. i use a futura five liter pressure cooker and love it. you also won’t need a pantry full of spices; although this recipe is flavourful, it only contains a handful of ingredients. feel free to use any lentils you prefer. i used a combination of four of my favourite lentils and was quite pleased with the results. dal is something i subsist on daily and i encourage you to use this method when you’re looking for something fast, fresh and tasty! as an added bonus it’s also incredibly nutritious. serve this with chapati (indian griddle bread), rice or quinoa, or eat it like a soup. enjoy!

Oh My Dal

1/4 cup split urad dal
1/4 cup whole moong dal
1/4 cup masoor dal
1/4 cup toor dal
2 or 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, crushed (i use a microplane grater)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 serrano chilies, sliced (if you like more heat, add more)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

dry lentils- urad, whole moong, toor, and masoor

dry lentils- split urad, whole moong, masoor, and toor

Sort through the dry lentils and pick out any stones or debris, then rinse well and set aside. Heat the pressure cooker on a medium flame and add the olive oil. Once the pan is hot add the cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chiles and cook for about one minute. Then add the turmeric and cook for one minute. Add the lentils and roast them with the spices for a few minutes.

roasting lentils in the pressure cooker

roasting lentils in the pressure cooker

Next add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of water. Stir to combine, then seal the lid and adjust the flame to medium-high. When the pressure cooker starts to whistle, lower the flame and cook for 10 minutes. Let the pressure come down before opening the lid, then add the fresh tomatoes and cilantro…and eat! (about 6-8 servings)

oh my dal!

oh my dal!

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, indian, recipes, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »