Lentils are a staple in our home - they have been since I was a child.
What I love about about dal is the versatility and affordability, a simple base that can be transformed into so many seasonal meals that are nourishing, supporting and easy to digest.
As the weather is cooling down and Vata season is moving in red lentils are a nice way to bring in some heating qualities. The sweet?oily qualities of coconut milk balance the dry qualities of the lentils and astringency of the squash. This dal is perfect served over sweet fluffy basmati rice.
3 cups water
1 can 16oz coconut milk
1 cup red lentils
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin seeds
pinch ground fennel
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
I small squash (kabocha, acorn or butternut)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp shredded coconut
Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear ( pre soaking them is best at least 4 hours over night is best)
Bring water and coconut milk to a boil and add in lentils along with ground spices in to a large saucepan or pot. Allow to come to a boil again, uncovered , then turn heat down to a low simmer.
Chop squash, into 1 inch cubes. Add to saucepan, partially covered for about 30 min. Do not stir.
Heat the ghee in a small frying pan on medium heat and temper the ginger, cumin seeds and mustard seeds until you smell them, just a few moments . Take the pan off the heat and stir the shredded coconut into the hot pan. Continue to stir for a moment or two as the coconut browns.
Add this tempered mixture to the lentils and squash along with the salt. Simmer dal uncovered for 5 minutes more.
Serve dal over basmati rice or with roti
Optional ( I added some fresh blanched skins peeled off tomatoes from our garden for additional seasonal prana add in when you are simmering the squash if you desire)