Whenever I travel to England I return home with the occasional exotic ingredient that is either not sold in Spain or difficult to find. On my last trip, my return partner was a bag of red lentils with which I made this very sweet red lentil dahl with sweet potato topping, an autumnal recipe.
Dahl is the term with which in India any dried legume is defined, as well as the stews that are made with them. The most popular are lentils, which surprise by their wide variety. There are red ones, which are the ones I have used for this dahl of red lentils with sweet potato, white, green, yellow, etc.
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into dice of equal size. We boil it in abundant saltwater, for 15 minutes or until it is tender (the time will depend on the size of the pieces and the maturity of the sweet potato). When the sweet potato is tender, we drain and crush until we get a puree. Then add the yogurt, season lightly and reserve.
Peel and chop the onion and carrot. In an oven-safe casserole, heat the oil and poach the onion together with the carrot for approximately 10 minutes, over low heat and with the lid on. This will help the vegetables to sweat, cook before and remain juicy due to the steam that is collected under the cover.
Peel and grate the ginger and garlic cloves. Add to the casserole with vegetables and add the broth, tomato sauce, and red lentils. Bring the whole to a boil and cook, over low heat, for 15 minutes so that the lentils absorb the broth and remain tender. This variety of lentils comes husked and split in half, which is why cooking time is so short. Cover with the mashed sweet potato and yogurt, sprinkle with grated cheese and gratin until golden brown.
How to accompany the red lentil dahl with sweet potato topping
When we serve this red lentil dahl with sweet potato topping, we can sprinkle the mixture with chopped fresh cilantro and accompany with a few tablespoons of natural yogurt. We can also lightly toast some flatbreads (pita type, naan, etc.) and serve it with them. It is a satiating vegetarian dish so little else admits as an accompaniment.