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> Warming Tomato Dal

Warming Tomato Dal

Posted on 01/19/2016 by Kulae

This dish does exactly what it’s name implies.  It is simple, satisfying and warming.  Perfect for a cold winte’s night.  One of the things I love about this dal is that it is so easy to make.  I used my slow cooker to prepare it. It took all of 5 minutes to put together, and when I got home from work last night, I had a delicious home cooked, healthy, vegan and gluten free dinner ready and waiting.  The trick to making this dal creamy is to soak the lentils over night.  Another time saving tip is to make your winter spice blend ahead of time.  I got this recipe out of the book The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, written by Kate O’Donnell.  Kate is an Ashtanga yoga teacher at Down Under Yoga, the studio that I am taking my yoga teacher training at.  She is also somewhat of an expert on the ancient sister science to yoga, called ayurveda.  Ayurveda teaches that we are all comprised of varying degrees of energy fields, or doshas.   The three Dosas are: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The doshas are biological energies found throughout the human body and mind. They govern all physical and mental processes and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and fulfillment.  Ayurveda also states that we should eat specifically for the season and our doshas. This recipe does this perfectly.  Try it out.  I promise, you will love it!


Warming Tomato Dal


4 cups water

1 cup red lentils (preferably soaked over night)

*1 tbsp Winter Spice Mix (see below for recipe)

1 16-oz jar whole tomatoes, chopped (reserve juice)

2 leaves lacitano kale

1 tbsp ghee

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp salt


  1. Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear and place the lentils along with the 4 cups water, chopped tomatoes and their juice and 1 tbsp of the *Winter Spice Mix into a slow cooker.  Set the heat to high and cover.
  2. While the slow cooker is warming, melt the ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat and sauté the cumin and mustard seeds until you can smell them, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the spiced ghee to the lentils, tomatoes and water.  Cover and let cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before serving, rinse the kale leaves, de-rib them, and slice them into ribbon strips.  Add the kale to the lentils and water.
  5. Add 1 tsp salt and let cook, covered, for another 30 minutes or so.
  6. Serve over basmati rice.

*Winter Spice Mix


1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp dehydrated sugarcane

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp black pepper (optional)


Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until you can smell them, a few minutes.  Cool completely.  Combine with the other ingredients and grind to a uniform consistency in a spice-dedicated coffee grinder or by hand with a mortar and pestle.  Store in a small glass spice jar with a shaker top.

Yours in health,

Renee Koczkodan

Certified Holistic Health Coach

About the Author

Renee is a Boston and Newton based holistic health coach.  She received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where she was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, she will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.

For more about Renee's services, you can check her out her website!

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