Sweet Potato Dal (India)

Course : Curry
Serves: 4
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4 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion -- finely chopped
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 medium minced chili pepper* -- optional
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander OR garam masala -- *see tip
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup brown or red lentils -- sorted and rinsed
4 cups water
2 cups sweet potatoes -- peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation / Directions:

In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic (and minced chili pepper) and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and pepper; cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the lentils and water and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the potatoes and cook for about 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. Stir in the salt. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Serve with an Indian flat bread or flour tortilla and a sauce such as yogurt, cucumber and chopped parsley. VARIATION: Instead of sweet potatoes, substitute Butternut or other winter squash. TIPs: Garam masala is a fragrant blend of spices commercially available. Check spice sections and international foods sections of supermarkets.

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