I tend to think of Indian dishes as pretty omnivore-friendly. Not usually any tofu, tempeh, seitan or any other ingredients less familiar to non-vegans. So, when I needed to whip up a casual dinner for a few family members, including one particularly unambitious eater…Indian it was!
This was very speedy to put together and didn’t even need a long simmer so it’s ideal for when you don’t have much time to devote to cooking the evening meal.
It might not look that filling, with just a 1/2 cup red lentils to thicken up the sauce, but the canned coconut milk gave the dish richness, as well as adding that silky smooth flavour I adore so much.
I kept it mild for she-who- will- not- be- named (!)…and actually found I didn’t really miss the heat, but you could add a little chili if you wanted a bit more kick.
Sweet Potato, Spinach + Coconut Dahl:
1T Coconut oil
1 Onion, chopped
1/2T Minced ginger
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Chili, minced (optional)
1t Curry powder
1t Ground cumin
1 Large sweet potato, chopped into 1” cubes
1/2C Red lentils
1 Can (400ml) Coconut milk (I like Biona Organic)
1C Vegetable broth
Several handfuls spinach, torn or roughly chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Warm coconut oil in a pot over medium heat, add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, optional chili, spices and salt and continue to cook another couple of minutes until smelling very fragrant. Don’t worry if it looks dry at this stage. Mix in sweet potato, lentils, coconut milk and broth, cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. The sweet potato should be soft and very easily fall off a fork when pierced. Pack in your spinach and keep stirring so it wilts and makes room for more in the pot. Cook a further few minutes uncovered. Turn off the heat and add a good squeeze of lemon, stir again and serve.
I just served it with some plain brown basmati rice but if I’d had a little more time I’d probably have jazzed it up a little with some fresh coriander and toasted slivered almonds.
This would also be great served in a bowl with some roti for dipping. If I were to go that route I’d probably use a full cup of lentils so the dahl is a bit thicker and more scoop-able.
Do you have an easy meal you like to serve to omnivores, or to more traditional eaters?