Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Brown Lentil Dhal with Sweet Potato and Baby Greens (No Added Fat)

It was a cool and rainy day, and the idea of a hot lentil dish sounded appealing. I made a nice brown lentil dhal with kale, corn, and preserved lemon this past July in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I thought I'd make something similar without the lemon, marinara sauce (my Dad doesn't eat garlic), jalapeno (my daughter doesn't eat spicy food), or corn

  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small-medium sweet potato (mine was organic so I didn't peel, but otherwise it should be peeled) cut into 1/4" cubes (approx. 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 carrots cut into 1/4" slices
  • 1 cup, pressed, greens - I used a mixture of baby greens, including red & green Swiss chard, beet, tat soi, arugula, and spinach
  • 1 medium roma tomato cut into 1/4" cubes (it made just shy of a half cup; I would have liked a full cup, but didn't have a second roma tomato)
  • Another 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t mustard seed
  • 1/4 t black salt (or regular salt)
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes

  1. I put the lentils, 1 1/2 cups water, sweet potato, and bouillon cube in the Instant Pot and cooked for 12 minutes.
  2. When it cooled down a bit, I gently released steam and added the carrot, greens, tomato, and 1/4 cup water. After stirring,  I turned the pressure cooker on for 3 more minutes of high pressure cooking.
  3. When I was ready to serve, I gently released steam, mixed in the onion and seasonings, and served.
I also served some mashed potato (with nutritional yeast and shallot mixed in) and avocado.


We were pleased with the dhal. I was originally thinking of making a thick mélange which could be served in the plate, but liked the thick dhal consistency; I wouldn't change the liquid. (If one wanted a lighter dhal, an extra cup or two of water would have been appropriate.) The flavors were quite appealing and went well together - the sweet potato added a subtle nuanced flavor - one wouldn't know there was sweet potato in it. Garlic wouldn't have been a good addition and, in hindsight, the one tomato was just right.

Ideas for the future

As I mentioned when I made the dhal in July, I should marry the nice combination of spinach and lentils. I'd like to make a simple dish with spinach, lentils, maybe celery, maybe a bit of tomato puree, and little else, and make it more liquidy. I can't think of how to improve tonight's dhal - it is a keeper!

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