Toor Dal with Carrot-Potato-Rutabaga Mash

This is something we quickly improvised for a comforting Sunday dinner. Toor dal is a new acquaintance, apparently one of the most popular split peas used in Indian cooking, although we didn’t use Indian spices for this. The sweetness of the root vegetables was balanced by raw red onions, and toor dal got some extra flavor from smoked Spanish paprika.


Anni says that it’s surprisingly difficult to take an appetizing photograph of two piles of mushy, yellow food, especially without any natural light available, but that only goes to show that appearances can be deceiving.

Root vegetable mash:

  • 500 g (or 4) potatoes
  • 500 g (or 2) rutabagas (also known as swedes)
  • 200 g (or 2) carrots
  • 1 dl plain soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • some freshly ground black pepper
  • finely cubed red onions to garnish

Toor dal:

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 big cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ dl toor dal (split pigeon pea)
  • 4 ½ dl water
  • 30 green peppers
  • a pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 dl oat (or other vegan) cream
  • salt to taste

First we prepared the root mash. Anni peeled and sliced the potatoes and rutabagas in slices about 1 cm thick, and cut the carrots in very thin rounds. Then she cooked the carrots for 5 minutes before adding potatoes and rutabagas to the cooking pot. She poured water over them, just enough to cover, and brought it to boil. She cooked them until they were all soft and mushy, about half an hour. Then Anni poured the cooking liquid in a separate bowl, to use as a soup or stock in some other dish later. Next, she added the rest of the mash ingredients, and mashed them with a potato masher. When there were no lumps left, she whipped the root mash with an electric whisker for about 3-4 minutes.

While our root vegetables were cooking, we prepared the toor dal. Anni chopped the garlic and ground the green peppers while I rinsed the toor dal. I heated the oil on a frying pan on medium low heat, and fried the garlic for a few minutes. I added the toor dal to the pan, continued frying for a couple of minutes more, and then poured 4 and 1/2 dl water over the toor dal and covered the pan, lowering the heat so that the stew just barely kept boiling.

When the lentils were done and very soft, which took about half an hour, Anni mixed in the smoked paprika, green peppers, oat cream, and added salt to taste. Then she reheated the lentils until the stew started to bubble. We sprinkled the root mash with red onions, and devoured our mushy and comforting Sunday dinner.