DANIELLE COPPERMAN'S SWEET POTATO DAL
We asked friends of East by West, over on My-urveda, to share a favourite Ayurveda-inspired recipe with us:
For her My-urveda recipe, model, nutritionist, chef and entrepreneur Danielle Copperman shared a sweet potato dal recipe from her brilliant book Well Being. This is the ultimate comfort food while still being light and easily digestible — a winning combo in Ayurveda.
For the dal
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g red lentils
2 baby aubergines or 1⁄2 large aubergine, chopped
100g sweet potato, chopped
120g tomatoes, chopped
1 × 400g tin coconut milk
250ml vegetable or meat stock
2 large handfuls of spinach or kale handful of fresh coriander leaves
For the spice paste
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
pinch of Himalayan pink salt
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tbsp natural tomato purée or chopped tomatoes
handful of fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp natural syrup (optional)
Coconut yoghurt or the solid part of a can of coconut milk or crème fraiche
1 lime, cut into wedges
Start by making the spice paste. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Transfer to a herb blender or small food processor and add the ginger, chilli, turmeric, garam masala, paprika and salt. Blend for 1 minute and then add the coconut oil, tomato purée or chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves and natural syrup, if using. Blend for a further 2 minutes until smooth, then set aside until needed.
For the dal, heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, lentils, aubergines and sweet potato and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir in the spice paste and then add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and 200ml of the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium–low heat and simmer for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the dal is becoming soft and tender, add the spinach or kale and the coriander and season. Stir for a few minutes so the greens wilt and, if the mixture seems too thick, add the remaining stock. When you are happy with the consistency, divide among the bowls and serve with coconut yoghurt and a wedge of lime.
East by West tip: If you're on an anti-inflammatory diet or are reducing Rajasic foods, use less tomato, garlic and onion and leave out the aubergine, adding more veg instead.