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  • Writer's pictureIvana Tara Prekopova

Autumnal Red Pumpkin/Squash Dal

Fall is an important time to prepare the body for cooler months by clearing out accumulated summer heat, intensity and storing nourishment in the deep tissue layers to be able to sustain energy and warmth through the winter. Cooking with seasonal foods is one of the Ayurvedic guidelines (think of the harvest and the gifts of Nature). Favour warm, moist, slightly oily and building foods in your diet. Enjoy dark leafy greens with a hint of fenugreek and a squeeze of lime to bring out the flavours. Time to reduce dry foods (chips, crackers), cold bubbly and carbonated drinks, salads any kind of raw and cold foods (salads, raw vegetables). As the temperatures drops, your appetite may grow and craving for sweet, more nourishing foods may be exactly what this quick and delicious Dal recipe is about. INGREDIENTS: 4 cups water or 3 cups water plus one can of coconut milk 1 cup red lentils 1 tsp Fall Spic Mix (dry roasted and grind of 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp turmeric powder and 2 tsp ginger powder) 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)1 small kind of any winter squash (about 2 cups chopped) 1/2 tsp salt TEMPERING: 1 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee) 1tsp grated fresh ginger 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp mustard seeds 2 tbsp shredded coconut

Boil the water and coconut milk, if using, in a large saucepan on high heat. Rinse the red lentils until the water runs clear. Add lentils to the boiling water along with the spice mix and sweetener. Allow to come to a boil again, uncovered. Then turn the heat down to medium. Chop the squash, peel and all, into 1-inch cubes. Add to the saucepan. When it boils again, turn the heat down to low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Do not stir. Heat the oil in a small frying pan on medium heat and temper the ginger, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds until you smell them, just 2-3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir the shredded coconut into the hot pan. Continue to stir for a minute or two as the coconut browns. Add this tempering to the lentils and squash, along with the salt. Simmer the dal, uncovered, for 5 minutes more. I enjoy it with organic basmati rice, little spinach or chard on the side with a garnish of coriander. Enjoy and let me know how was it! X INSTANTPOT ALERT!

If you own one of these (I LOOOOVE MINE, can't believe I was resisting getting one for so long!) Direction: 1. Put all of the ingredients into an Instantpot and pressure cook for 5 minutes. 2. Hand-blend if you want it really smooth 3. Add the tempering into the Instantpot once the pressure is naturally released. Close the pot and let it sit for 5 more minutes before serving. This recipe is coming from The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook - by Kate O'Donnell. A beautiful seasonal guide to Eating and Living Well.

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