HAPPY NEWS!! 10 days ago our baby girl was born, who we named Yolanda. Our home is filled with love and happiness as we welcome this new soul into our lives.
I was very much in the mood for a soft, hearty, flavourful dahl full of good stuff, and so ended up with this very tasty and warming stew for the cool nights we've been having!
1 cup red lentils, well rinsed
1/2 tsp each turmeric and sea salt
2 1/2 cups water
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 butternut squash, sliced 1/2-inch thick and seeded*
2 handfuls spinach leaves, washed
1/2 block firm tofu, cubed
1 Tbsp curry oil*
1 Tbsp oil or ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp each cumin seeds and coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 heaping tsp each minced garlic and minced ginger
1/2 large onion (or one small), chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt to taste
papadums, samosas, naan bread, yogurt or raita to serve (optional)
Marinate the tofu cubes in curry oil and set aside. Place the lentils, turmeric, salt and water in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Stir in half the tomato plus the squash, cover and cook on medium-low until cooked, about half an hour. When done stir in spinach.
Meanwhile, heat oil or ghee in a large, deep pan and add spices (mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, chili). When mustard seeds start to pop, stir in garlic, ginger and onion. Stirfry a few minutes, then add tofu cubes. Continue cooking til tofu is lightly browned and onions are cooked. Add a bit of sea salt if desired, plus half the chopped cilantro. Set some of the tofu mixture aside, then pour cooked dahl mixture into the tofu pan, stirring in a bit more water if you like it a little soupier.
Serve with rice and top with reserved tofu, tomato and cilantro, plus any sides you like. Serves 3-4.
*curry oil: I used the oil that sits on top of the curry paste I buy in a jar, or you can make your own by mixing vegetable oil with mixed Indian spices and/or curry powder
*squash: (no need to peel butternut squash, as the skin will soften) I used slices of squash that I had roasted in the oven with olive oil and salt a few nights before, which had a really nice flavour -- if you do this, just stir in the roasted squash at the end of cooking the dahl, along with the spinach
*rice: I served with coconut brown basmati, but you can use plain basmati or try with tangy basmati
FOR INDIVIDUAL DOSHAS
VATAS replace spinach with other leafy greens
PITTAS use split mung beans instead of red lentils; replace spinach with other leafy greens; reduce mustard seeds to 1/4 tsp and omit chili flakes
KAPHAS use zucchini or white potato instead of squash; minimize oil and salt