Dahl number three – Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew by Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows – a plant based recipe

We’ve got at least one more dahl recipe up our sleeves, to share with you.

Husband ‘the plant powered athlete’ who loves running ultra-marathons, also LOVES, what he calls ‘the tomatoey’ dahls, which i positively whip up.

Good God, I’m a good human!

This is one of those ‘tomatoey’ (that my husband relishes) red lentil ‘curries’ or ‘stews’ as Angela Liddon calls it. My Mum gave our whanau this recipe. Good ol’ Mum! Angela’s Liddon’s blogsite is a goodey to discover also – Oh How she Glows (glow from the inside out).

Angela Liddon shares this ‘tomatoey dahl recipe’ on her website and credits ‘Pulse Canada‘ for it, who attribute ‘Deliciously Ella‘ for the inspiration. How’s that for whakapapa! < If you click that ‘blue highlighted Ella’ name back there it’ll take you to ‘Deliciously Ella’s’ version which includes BLACK OLIVES – oh la la, and she uses lemon juice in lieu of the apple cider vinegar you’re about to hear about…

In keeping with t’other dahl recipes (one and two) we’ve shared, this too uses butternut and/or sweet potato. For those kiwis reading this, i tend to go for the golden and orange kumara rather than the purple skinned variety which i think is too fibrous or starchy.

I’ve made some amendments (further to the previous amendments by the dahl lovers above) e.g. oils to use et cetera. If you’re looking for distraction you could follow the links to all 3 versions and spot the differences!

Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

Serves 4

For the stew:

NB: If you don’t have pumpkin and/or sweet potato do not be deterred, i make this without, and simply add 1/2 cup more lentils and approx. 2 cups of stock instead of 3.

2 Tblsp sunflower oil or ghee (a friend, married to a man from Indian, taught me this trick, she says olive oil is too strong and ‘fucks with the flavours’ – high fives Roey).
1 medium-large onion (or two small ones NB: i prefer red, but brown is FINE)
3 – 4 large garlic cloves crushed
2 inch knob of fresh ginger grated
3 cups (400g) peeled, seeded, and diced (in all the same size so they cook at the same time) butternut squash
1 large sweet potato SEE note above re: colour^ (450g with skin on) peeled and diced (once peeled 340g of 2 and 1/2 cups). Same as above in all the same size so they cook at the same time.
3 cups vegetable broth (i prefer homemade, one can pre make ahead of time and keep in the freezer) otherwise Massal or Rapunzel are good options in New Zealand.
400ml can of chopped tomatoes
400ml can of coconut milk (i prefer the Ceres or Trident brands, they both have less ‘additives’ in them)
1/2 cup of dried red lentils (i like the red lentils because they’re little, so they feel delicate in the mouth, but also cook quickly)
3 Tblsp tomato paste (i like to buy the glass gar or can, as opposed to the plastic bottle, or metal tube, cos i know i can recycle glass and tin in all regions of NZ)
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp of freshly ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp of cayenne powder (if you prefer more heat)
Black pepper (one should always use black pepper in conjunction with turmeric as the pepper boosts the bioavailability of the curcumin present in turmeric. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant).
Himalayan sea salt
3 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice or lime juice
1 bunch of washed spinach, ripped into the stew just before serving

Optional accompaniments:
Fresh coriander (chopped, ripped, or dumped on top)
Cooked rice


Start by popping your rice on. I LOVE the absorption method.

Next soak your lentils. Pop them in a glass bowl. Fill bowl with water, to about 3 inches above the top of the lentils. The longer you can soak your lentils the better. Anybody tell me why? Remember you could use yellow lentils instead of the red lentils mentioned above. Helpful tip: Lentils are otherwise known as Split Peas or Dahl. You kiwis, go visit Bin Inn, or your local Indian store and check out the beautiful colours and subtle differences in the multiple varieties of lentils available.

1. Get out your casserole pot or a large and deep frypan and on a low heat add the oil. Once the oil is warmed, add the onions etc. You’re frying the chopped onion, crushed garlic, and grated fresh ginger. Stir often. Cook on a low-medium heat until softened (mindful not to brown as the flavours change when this happens).

2.  Add the spices (including that pepper), stirring often, to avoid burning. Cook for 2-3 mins.

3. Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sauteing (this is supposed to increase the flavour) for a few mins longer.

4. Add the broth, canned toms (with juices), coconut milk, tom paste, lentils (you’ve drained off the excess water, don’t fret if you forget though, it’ll just be a little more watery OR take longer to reduce). Stir well to combine.

5. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Don’t forget to stir once in a while. My dahl always has a tendency to stick! Anyone else’s? Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally, until the squash and sweet potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary.

6. Just before serving add the apple cider vinegar and spinach.
Warning: don’t be over-enthusiastic (like moi) and ‘splash’ the vinegar in, be patient and ‘measure’ it. Too much ‘sour’ spoils the broth.

So quick!
This stew will seriously take you a shorter time than it took me to write it up.

Family Friendly?
Some of the younger members of our family ravage this meal. Others eat rice, rice and rice the night i serve this up, and are not (yet) dahl fans.

Oh what a naughty Mummy i am!

I’m actually half lying.

Vegetable Trick
We do this trick in our house of chopping up steamed broccoli finely (like i would chopping nuts) so it resembles a gravel like consistency and then after fluffing the basmati up with a fork, we fold the green goodness into the rice.

So actually the kids eat broccoli and rice occasionally, and carrot sticks if i’m feeling kind.


11pm on the dot.
Dog is snoring beside me.
The fire has gone to sleep.
Hottie awaits.

Eat, cook and love well, dear earthlings.

Photo credit: Deliciously Ella website

Written by Emily with wild & grace

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