Winter Vegetable Dal

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This is comfort food at its finest. Dal is an Indian lentil dish. This red lentil dal is substantial enough to be served as a main dish. Unlike their brown or green counterparts, red lentils cook up quickly. They turn into a mushy, creamy-like consistency. Although there appears to be a lot of ingredients, this meal comes together quickly. It takes a bit of chopping, but the payoff is a delicious, hearty meal that the whole family will love. I buy the pre cut butternut squash to lessen the prep time.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (1-inch)
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala*
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until the seeds begin to pop, about 20 seconds. Add onion, chile, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add bay leaf, water, lentils, coconut milk, salt and turmeric to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to make sure the lentils don’t stick to the bottom. Add squash, cauliflower and potato; return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; stir in garam masala and lime juice.
* Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices. You can find it in the spice section.
Adapted from Eating Well Magazine.