Recipe: Ginger, Lentil & Vegetable Curry Stew (Subji dal)

Protein-rich red or yellow lentils combine with fresh vegetables yielding a hearty, curried vegetable stew. This recipe includes tumeric, cumin and chiles all with cancer fighting properties.  Use a variety of vegetables , experiment with seasonal choices. This is a particularly wonderful fall/winter soup which can include sweet potatoes, winter squash, spinach, or kale. This recipe can be made with less or no chiles depending upon your preference.


  • 1 large russet or Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup red or yellow lentils, (chana dal)
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, (1-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup green bean pieces, frozen or fresh (1-inch pieces)
  • 1 small (8 ounces) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
  • 1-3 fresh green chiles, such as Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise (do not seed)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 long thin slices fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • Juice from 1 medium lime
  • 1 teaspoon ghee, or butter (optional)

6 servings, generous 1 cup each


  1. Place potatoes in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Rinse lentils in a colander and drain.  Add 4 cups water to the lentils and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Drain the potatoes and add to the lentils. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in cauliflower, green beans, eggplant, carrot, salt and turmeric. Return to a boil; cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are fork-tender and the peas are soft but firm-looking, 7 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Stir in garlic and chiles to taste and cook, stirring, until the garlic is light brown and the chiles are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Stir the garlic-chile mixture into the cooked vegetables. Scoop a ladleful of cooking water from the saucepan to the skillet; swish it around and pour the “washings” back into the saucepan.
  5. Add cilantro and ginger. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer the curry, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Stir in lime juice and ghee (or butter), if using.

Modified From EatingWell:January/February 2008>/p>