Sweet Potato Toor Dal

So I made this on the evening of John’s and my first official working-together-on-site day. I made up the recipe as I went along, inspired by a recipe for Vegan Toor Dal from Fatfree Vegan Recipes that I used to use when I worked for a vegan “deli” back in Minnesota. The original recipe involved no vegetables other than garlic, but Meave and I really enjoyed the addition of sauteed onions, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Special thanks to Nate Walker and Heather Brady for letting me use the bounty of Open Acres’ sweet potatoes!


1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
approx. 3 cups sweet potatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 cup red lentils
3 Tblsp olive oil
½ tsp brown mustard seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
black pepper to taste

Roughly 4 servings.


Scrub and peel the sweet potatoes.  Coarsely chop the onions, carrots, and sweet potatoes.  Use whatever shapes please you.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Saute the chopped veggies in the pot — stirring occasionally — until the onions begin to turn translucent.  Cover the vegetables with water.  Add the red lentils, and add enough water to make sure everything is still covered.  Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the red lentils break down into a mush.

Mince the garlic while this cooking is going on.  Add water as necessary to keep the stew from getting too thick.  When the lentils have mooshified, turn off the heat and stir in all the spices and the garlic.  Taste it (without scalding yourself) and adjust the spice levels as desired.  (If you like spicy things, there could be cayenne pepper in this as well.)


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