Red Lentil Dal with Winter Squash!

Fall is a time of transition, of moving inward.  Days become shorter, the air becomes cooler, trees lose their leaves and so on. This is also a time to transition your meals to bring more warmth. Think soups and stews, steamed veggies instead of raw and so on according to Ayurvedic principles.  Having studied both Ayurveda yoga and taken a couple of Ayurveda courses on food and the seasons, one of my favourite Ayurvedic inspired meals is this Red Lentil Dal with Winter Squash. You can eat it on its own or serve with some steamed rice or vegetables to add even more fulfilment. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups dried red lentil, rinsed 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons. ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander 
  • 1 1/2 cups acorn, butternut, pumpkin or kabocha peeled, seeded and cut into small 1 inch cubes 
  • 1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 15 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large saucepan combine lentils, salt and 6 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. 
 
Puree tomatoes and ginger in blender until well combined and smooth. 
 
 In a dutch oven over medium heat, warm the ghee. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the cumin, coriander and tumeric and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the squash, tomato puree, cooked lentils, winter squash and coconut milk; stir to combine. Adding more water (a cup at a time) if necessary. Simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Before serving stir in cilantro. Sprinkle more on top and serve! Dal tastes even more amazing the next day!

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