My aversion to meat as a young child forced my mom to come up with creative ways to transform vegetables, and occasionally chicken or fish, into delicious meals for the whole family. We often ate vegetarian meals and to this day, even though I’m not quite as picky with meat, I still like to make a lot of meatless meals. I always keep dried legumes and canned beans in my pantry so I can whip together nutritious meals even when my fridge isn’t well stocked. Beans and lentils are inexpensive, a good source of protein, and packed full of fibre – which helps to keep you full and satisfied!
This recipe is my take on an Indian lentil stew called Dahl. I added sweet potato and coconut milk for a touch of sweetness and fresh spinach because the bunch in my refrigerator was starting to look questionable. All you need to complete this meal is some cooked basmati rice or naan bread.
Trust me you won’t miss the meat in this dish!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced or ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons garam masala*
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 1 medium sweet potato, diced
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 3 cups of water
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
- 4 cups of packed spinach
- 1/4 cup cilantro (optional, but highly recommended!)
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot, add onions and cook until soft – about 5 minutes.
- Add ginger, garlic , jalapenos and spices and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until spices are fragrant.
- Add lentils, carrots, sweet potato, and water. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add coconut milk and salt, cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and spinach and cook for 3 minutes until lentils are soft and spinach is wilted. Adjust seasoning to taste and stir in fresh cilantro if using.
- Serve with cooked basmati rice or naan
- Garam masala is a blend of ground spices which you can find it in the spice section of most grocery stores.