Winter Vegetable Dal

14 January

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large bay leaf or 12 fresh curry leaves
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 serrano chili, finely diced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4½ cups water or stock
1½ cups red lentils, rinsed
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric, or fresh if you have it
2½ cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
2 cups Romanesco cauliflower florets or more
1 large Yukon gold potato, cut into ½-inch chunks
½ of a celeriac, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes or pieces
1 teaspoon garam marsala
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and bay or curry leaves and cook until the seeds begin to pop, about 20 seconds. Add the onion, chile, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Add water or stock, lentils, coconut milk, salt, and turmeric to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, to make sure the lentils don’t stick to the bottom. Add the squash, Romanesco, potato, and celeriac; return to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are just tender when pierced with a fork, 20-25 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat; stir in the garam masala and lime/lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Serves 6

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