I love a bowl of warming daal. It is a really filling and comforting meal, plus its well balanced so keeps your energy sustained and your blood sugar stable. This recipe uses sweet potato but you could easily swap in some butternut squash or similar if you wanted. I also think a good quality coconut milk is key and I love this one from Biona.
Soaking your lentils beforehand (ideally for around 1 hour) helps to breakdown lectins and phytates which are anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients bind to other nutrients- especially minerals- and prevent them from being absorbed. Plus they can cause digestive issues in some people so don't skip the soaking part.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic closes, crushed
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mild curry powder
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 bag of fresh spinach (approx 70-80g)
250g red split lentils, rinsed, soaked and then drained
1 x 400ml can good quality coconut milk
300ml vegetable stock
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 small pack of fresh coriander chopped
1/2 cup cashews chopped
Handful of mixed seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a high-sided saucepan and cook the onion for 8 - 10 mins until softened.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 mins. Then add the spices and cook for 1-2 mins more, stirring to ensure everything is combined.
Add the sweet potato and stir to coat with the spices. Add the lentils, vegetable stock, coconut milk, maple syrup and seasoning to the pan. Stir everything well.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 - 20 mins. Until the lentils are cooked and the potato is soft but still holding its shape.
Add the spinach and stir through to allow it to wilt.
Serve in a bowl topped with some fresh coriander, chopped cashews and seeds.