Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

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(38 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4

A comforting vegan one-pot recipe that counts for 3 of your 5-a-day! You can't go wrong with this iron-rich, low-fat, low-calorie supper

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal397
  • fat5g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre11g
  • protein18g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 400g/14oz), cut into even chunks
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 250g red split lentils
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 80g bag of spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 4 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal, to serve
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • ½ small pack of Thai basil, leaves torn, to serve



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. Heat the oil in a wide-based pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, cook for 1 min, then add the spices and cook for 1 min more.

  2. Turn up the heat to medium, add the sweet potato and stir everything together so the potato is coated in the spice mixture. Tip in the lentils, stock and some seasoning. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 mins until the lentils are tender and the potato is just holding its shape

  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then gently stir in the spinach. Once wilted, top with the spring onions and basil to serve. Or allow to cool completely, then divide between airtight containers and store in the fridge for a healthy lunchbox (see tip below).

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Comments (18)

felicityelizabeth's picture

I absolutely love this recipe and make it all the time. I'm a student and this is the perfect dish to make in advance and heat up after a long winter's day. I find that the recipe makes way more than 4 portions. I double the garlic and sometimes add a dollop of plain yoghurt and some mango chutney. Don't be afraid to use the whole chili, seeds and all, as the heat is not overwhelming. It's really easy, cheap as chips, stores well, filling, nutritious and delicious. You can't go wrong!

french_cook's picture

Such a lovely meal! It's full of flavour and really filling. I added a tin of chopped tomatoes as it started to get quite dry after 10 minutes cooking... I served it with some garlic and coriander naan bread, it was yummy!

catie74's picture

I prefer to use homemade chicken stock too

catie74's picture

I also add more garlic and have added a head of cauliflower too

zuzle77's picture

Lovely. Could add more stock as bit dry at the end of cooking - served with soured cream instead.

gar33's picture

I also doubled the garlic, and I also threw some mushrooms in. I think that it's worth making more stock than stipulated, because mine needed a little loosening towards the end. However, the end result was fantastic; one of the tastiest home-made dhals I've done. Great recipe.

xxoliviamayxx's picture

so good and so simple!

koolk_2009's picture

Really tasty, I used kale instead of spinach which worked well. Could just do with a bit more texture.

stellageorge's picture

Simple and gorgeous. Doubled the garlic and added an extra sweet potato. Might add chickpeas once I've made it a few times. Served with coriander and low fat Creme fraiche. Added a couple diagonal slices of chilli to sprinkle with the spring onion for a bit of extra oomph. Will have to find some Thai basil for next time.

lahelapixie's picture

Really lovely and very simple and quick to make. Didn't have the basil.

shelley1977's picture

Love this recipe as does my husband and children. I don't use the basil though and serve with homemade naan

jeanetteski's picture

Great dish. It went a bit dry before sweet potato was cooked so I put in a 160ml tin of coconut milk. It did the trick, also I used 4 blocks of frozen spinach instead of fresh, and I used a handful of chopped coriander in place of the basil....delicious!

JDM's picture

A great dish that's simple and very tasty, didn't have Basil so added a bit more Spinach to substitute and garnished with a bit of coriander. Perfect

hilbee's picture

Thai basil adds an aniseed flavour which was really good. Picked some up back accident and froze it. This was so flavoursome and filling. I was cooking for a vegan as well as meat eaters so this went really well with the lamb steaks and rosemary sweet potatores

karens1304's picture

This is delicious. I've tried lots of different dhals and this was certainly one of the best yet.

georgelikescake's picture

Delicious recipe, far tastier than I was expecting. Didn't have any Thai basil so not sure how much this would have added but it was brill even without. Will become a regular recipe I think!

PippaH1's picture

only used 220g sweet potato as was all I had but it was really easy and flavours were great

ifeyinwa00's picture

This dish was delicious. It was so full of flavour and healthy at the same time. Perfect for a mid-week, filling veggie meal

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Tips (1)

phil71's picture

Love this, but think it works best with 2 or 3 times the amount of liquid. It's nice dry but amazing with a sauce. If I can't get basil, I use star anise and add it at the spices stage.