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potluck dal (vegan creamy red lentil and apple stew)

February 14, 2019

This is a great dish to bring for a vegan potluck with picky people. Not spicy, not curry – just sweet and hearty.

1.5 Tbsp. coconut oil
3/4 – 1.5+ tsp. cayenne pepper (i used 3/4t and it was mild)
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. garam masala
½ large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 large apple (unpeeled), pref sour/green apple, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1½ cups red lentils
1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
fresh lime juice, to taste
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Plain yogurt, cilantro leaves, and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (for serving)

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Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, spices, and apple; stir-fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add lentils and stir to coat. Stir in coconut milk and 2½ cups vegetable stock or water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are completely soft and dal is thick, 20–25 minutes. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Divide dal among bowls and top with yogurt and cilantro.

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recipe adapted by friedsig and originally written by bon appetit

To be honest, I’m crazy about Gujarati dal and other lentil dishes that balance sour and spicy with sweet, and this one is definitely more sweet. I think this would be a great start for people who think they could never like Indian food because they can’t handle spicy. If you’re feeding people who would find the curry leaves and mustard seeds of a Gujarati dal or a panchkuti dal to be too far outside their comfort zone, and the cream and butter in dal makhani to be overwhelming, this coconut-apple-ginger lentil dish is a good bet. It’s also good for someone who is recovering from sickness, as it’s a soft food with medicinal spices like turmeric and ginger, and sweetened naturally with apple and coconut.

No added processed sugars, totally vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free – definitely on the healthy side. Cut down the coconut milk to make it low-fat and lower in sugars – I used about half the can, and it was still sweet. You can’t specifically taste the apple in it. It’s meant to add a naturally sour and sweet kick. If you’re diabetic, use lemon juice instead of the apple. This one is maybe not the most authentic Indian dal recipe, but definitely a keeper for cooking for kids or other picky eaters. I’m calling it potluck dal because I think this is the best lentil recipe to bring to a potluck of picky eaters.

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One comment

  1. Oh, my family would love this dish. They are always looking for new ways to use lentils. Thank you for sharing!



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