Sweet potato dhal is a filling and flavourful comfort food, perfect for this time of the year.
Sweet potato dhal
Although it is far from chilly outside, the temperature has dropped, so if there is ever a time for eating hearty, warming comfort food in the UAE, then it is now. The recipe for sweet potato dhal below ticks all those boxes, as well as being filling, flavourful and healthy.
Lentils are a great cupboard standby for anyone wanting to eat healthily. They are low in fat and contain a number of different minerals and vitamins, not to mention protein. They are also a good source of dietary fibre (both soluble and insoluble), which not only aids healthy digestion but is also thought to reduce blood cholesterol and keep blood sugar levels under control.
The sweet potato not only adds colour and texture to the dish, but more importantly boosts the fibre content further, while providing a dose of beta-carotene and vitamins E and C. Both lentils and sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates, meaning that they release energy more slowly then simple carbohydrates and should ensure that you feel fuller for longer.
Adding chilli and ginger to the stock helps infuse the lentils with flavour, but is not completely necessary. Incorporate whatever vegetables you have in the fridge into the dhal, finish it with a spoonful of natural yoghurt and a scattering of chopped coriander and you've got yourself a nutritious meal in a bowl.
Sweet potato dhal
100g red lentils
450ml vegetable stock (or water)
1 red chill, deseeded and sliced in half lengthways
3x3cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
small bunch coriander, leaves picked and chopped
Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear. Tip them into a saucepan, pour over the stock (or water) and add the chilli and ginger. Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Add the chopped sweet potato and cook, stirring from time to time to prevent them from sticking to the base of the pan, for a further 10-12 minutes or until soft. Drain off any water that hasn't been absorbed by the lentils, discard the chill and ginger and keep warm until you are ready to serve.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the spices. After 2-3 minutes, remove the pan heat and stir the spiced onion mixture into the lentils.
Divide the lentils between two serving bowls, top with a spoonful of natural yoghurt, a squeeze of lime juice and the chopped coriander.
- Nutritional information for average serving (152g) tarka dhal
Calories from fat 36
Total fat 4g
Saturated fat 0.3g
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