Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Sweet potato and spinach daal

I am by no means a vegetarian- give me a plate full of ribs, a whole fish or a spatchcocked chicken any day (preferably peri-peri) and I will be a very happy bunny- but I quite often eat like one. I don't need meat on my plate for my meal to be satisfying, it's quite nice (with the risk of sounded a bit Hugh FW) to make the most of lovely fruit, vegetables, grains and the like for a change (and it's often a fair bit cheaper to do so). I do tend to gravitate a lot towards cooking and eating quite a lot of what my brother would call 'hippy food'- things like lentils, bran, brown rice and beans. Don't get me wrong, I am rather partial to the odd disgustingly processed McDonald's burger or two, complete with rubbery orange perfectly square 'cheese' and worryingly uniform salty fries (word of warning- never squeeze a Maccy D's chip between your fingers), it's just nice to feel like at least some of the time you are cooking 'real food', making delicious grub from scratch from natural ingredients from the earth. I'm getting a little too zen-like now. Don't worry, I will not be moving to a self sufficient commune anytime soon- I doubt they have skinny toffee nut lattes.
Anyway, back to the point, how could you see this bunch of ingredients and not want to cook something wholesome and delicious, guaranteed to put a halo on your head and no inches on your waist? You can't. Or I can't anyway (ahem, I definitely didn't buy these ingredients to cook with the night before and end up going back to the shop for a frozen pizza because I couldn't be bothered). So I threw together- literally, it's that easy- one of my favourite Indian style dishes to make, which always warms and fills me up properly- a sweet potato and spinach daal. I got the recipe here on the BBC Good Food website (God bless that website), and it is almost unbelievably simple- the only bit of relatively strenuous activity involved is a bit of peeling and chopping. 
Granted, it does sound like a bit of a side dish, and many the meat-eater reading this will be picturing it on the table alongside a large lamb balti, and I imagine it would be delicious as such- but it's absolutely delicious and filling as it is. Served with sliced toasted pittas (wholemeal of course) for dunking in, it leaves you warmed through and satisfied, with a hint of chili tingling your tongue, and, with the amount of vegetables in it (and not a lot else), feeling absolutely guilt free (or with room for pudding- whichever way you want to look at it). 
Right, I had best go, before I give you all a brackets overdose (I would apologise for my brackets addiction- but I refuse to acknowledge that it is a problem, and therefore won't be attending brackets anonymous anytime soon). Yes, I am aware that I am hilarious. Lots of lentilly love,


  1. I think this sounds just about right in the run up to Christmas. Most old hippies that I know (and that's a few now I come to think about it) would have no problems drinking skinny toffee nut lattes, by the way. (As for brackets (and other similar bits of punctuation), I find them very comforting (no idea why) and I think you should go on using them (if you want to (no pressure)) as often as you like.)

  2. Oo double brackets- I like! And maybe I could consider hippy living after all (I would possibly have to ring in for a dominoes once in a while though!) :)
    Robyn x

  3. I bloody love BBC Good Food, & this sounds right up my street. Like you, I am definitely a carnivore, but I love vegetarian meals like this. One of the best I made lately was a chickpea curry - you definitely don't miss the meat.


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