Red Lentil Sweet Potato Dal

Red Lentil Sweet Potato Dal Backpacking

I finally broke down and bought a dehydrator. I’ve played around with dehydrating food in the oven and that works fine most of the time, so for the longest time I couldn’t justify buying yet another kitchen appliance. I also had my heart set on an expensive one, so that further delayed my purchase.

I never imagined that it would be something that I use so much, but we’ve got this thing running at least three days a week! We’ve been trying to eliminate junk food from our diets and my dehydrator has become my secret weapon. My kids LOVE dehydrated fruit and kale chips. The stuff we make in the dehydrator is so much better than what we can buy at the grocery store and much more affordable (especially in the quantities we eat!).

The reason I bought the dehydrator though, is so I could get into making backpacking food. Dal was what I was most excited to try dehydrating, and I’m so happy with how it turns out. In this recipe, I add sweet potatoes and some kale for an extra boost of nutrition, because I always feel like we’re lacking veggies on the trail.

Red Lentil Sweet Potato Dal Before Dehydrating

Before you dehydrate this, make sure that the sweet potatoes are broken down enough so that there aren’t huge chunks of them in your dal. If you start with a small enough dice, they should break down pretty quickly, but if it seems like the dal is pretty chunky anyway, you can mash it up a bit with a potato masher. This will prevent chewy bites of sweet potato in your rehydrated dal.

Red Lentil Sweet Potato Dal Dehydrating

When the dal is dehydrated, it will be crumbly. You can just throw it in a bag. Don’t worry about breaking it up in small pieces or blending it.

Dehydrated Red Lentil Sweet Potato Dal Before

If you’re car camping, you don’t have to dehydrate this. You can make it at camp or even make it at home ahead of time and freeze it. Then use it as an ice pack in your cooler for the first day or two of your trip.

Backpacking Red Lentil Sweet Potato Dal

21 thoughts on “Red Lentil Sweet Potato Dal

  1. So how much of the Dal do you rehydrate? all of it? is this a single portion meal? I would be cooking and packing for one so not sure about portion size. Thanks!

    1. Hi Terry,
      The recipe serves two people. If you’re not going to serve it with rice or bread, it might only be enough for one person though. Hope that helps!

  2. This was stunningly delish. Grateful I stumbled across your blog. Me and my kiddo will continue to make a.lot of your recipes. Insanely good.

  3. The family and I are planning a 28 camping spree in the next week and have used almost all your recipes.

    I love to cook and these are amazing for the trail. I hope you keep up making and posting recipes as we will continue to use, share and add them to our trail cookbook.
    Breakfast is one we find hardest to switch up.
    Once again thank you for all your recipes and sharing them to the public

    Have a great day

    1. Thanks @Tyler! We’re so glad you’re enjoying them. Please let us know if you make any variations or new recipes that we should test out. We love to hear how things are adapted for others’ experiences. It’s good to know that breakfast needs to be a focus. We’ll keep that in mind as we test. Have a great trip!

    1. GMan, I was thinking the same thing, but how well would the ghee dehydrate? Can you share any experience with that? This recipe looks amazing, and seeing as I’m making it tomorrow, will be curious to see if it will matter in the flavour.

  4. Dude (this salutation includes all genders per me)! I am sooooo happy you put this recipe up. Dal + dehydration +backpacking- I know this will be a tasty, easy, healthy, lightweight winner meal after a day of evaluating risk vs outcomes…Will rehydrate at altitude! Don’t drink soap! All one or none!

  5. Have you ever considered plugging your ingredients into a website like MyFitnessPal to calculate calories in your backpacking meals? I do it to make sure I get enough on my trips. I’m really interested in this one, but it only adds up to 350 calories per serving 🙁 I’d end up eating the entire bag haha

  6. I doubled this for a recent snow camping trip, and it was a generous 5-6 servings! SO delicious and easy. Really flavorful and yummy after a cold hike! One thing that might be obvious for seasoned dehydrator users but wasn’t for me (and ended up extending drying time): make sure to cut the parchment paper around the edges to perfectly fit inside the dehydrator. I just cut holes in the center, but the hot air wasn’t able to flow between trays along the edges, and so didn’t dry out the top rack. Good thing I caught it early in the morning before we left 🙂 Thank you for such a great recipe!

  7. Currently making this for a backpacking trip for next weekend. I wound up tripling the recipe so we can have some for dinner at home as well so now I am unsure of how much water to add when rehydrating since I’m only dehydrating a portion of it. Is it equal parts Dal and water to rehydrate?

  8. This is my favourite camping recipe! I’ve made it with squash instead of sweet potato, too. It’s currently in my dehydrator!

  9. Hey! I’ve just dehydrated my own leftover dahl ahead of a hike I’m doing in 6 weeks time. Do you think I should freeze the dehydrated dahl between now and then or do you think it will last happily until then in a zip lock bag in the pantry? Thanks in advance! Alex

  10. My daughter recommended this for our next backpacking trip but I don’t see the recipe. Is the recipe posted somewhere?

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