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Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

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(81 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, questions and tips

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Dot Cotton
12th Oct, 2017
Made as per recipe only i left out the sweet potato & added a couple of dollops of mango chutney at the end. Gorgeous! Plenty left for lunch tomorrow with rice
swiftsmith's picture
4th Aug, 2017
Love this recipe, simple and really nourishing and tasty. I use squash instead of sweet potato- have tried both and think squash works better. I'm not vegan but frequently choose to make this for dinner, served with brown basmati rice, because it's delicious! I also often use frozen spinach because that's what I've got in the house and it works just as well, and it's worth doing without the basil, I usually don't use it.
Rob Potter
30th Jul, 2017
Really really nice! I used 4 garlic gloves, and more like a tablespoon of the spices plus garam masala and it's worked great. Didn't have any Thai basil so used coriander and spring onion to finish. Lovely
4th Jul, 2017
Very nice indeed. Lovely flavour and healthy too. I stirred in a bit of mango chutney and Warm naan bread. cracking!
25th Jun, 2017
Very tasty. Needed to add a bit of extra water, also added chilli powder as very mild
7th Jun, 2017
I made this recently and it was delicious. I highly recommend par-boiling the sweet potatoes before you pop them in with the lentils though, as it took me ages for the dish to cook without doing this. I had to actually take the chunks of sweet potato out of the pan and boil them separately to the dahl. Apart from this, the recipe is really easy to follow & is great - all my family tried it & were hooked.
pontifex maximus's picture
pontifex maximus
9th Jun, 2017
Thank you for sharing this great recipe! I added garam masala too. I served it with sour cream, sorry vegans, to make it a complete meal. Added this to my "saved recipes". Awesome!
16th May, 2017
Just cooked this for the first time, and whilst it took a lot longer, as we're beginners, the final result was amazingly tasty, and so so healthy!
15th May, 2017
This is a really tasty dish, i added quite a bit extra stock (950ml) as comments suggested and doubled the spinach and garlic. The consistency was lovely, served with naan bread and yoghurt. I left out the basil leaves but the dish is still full of flavour.
14th May, 2017
Awesome! I used waaaaaay more spinach (like 300g worth), threw in some chickpeas (for some reason I have about a million tins of chickpeas in my cupboard, so any excuse to use them up) and frozen green beans (towards the end of cooking so they don't fall apart!), and added some garam masalla to the spices. Keep the seeds in the chilli and be liberal with the spices (but keep an eye on the salt)! I don't actually think the spring onions and thai basil are needed in order for this to work. I had to use chicken stock, too, which if you're a veggie is obviously a no-go, but I found it added a slightly more robust flavour. I love this. It's healthy as anything and cheap cheap cheap! And I can make a tonne if it for lunch to take to work. Bloody ace recipe!


7th Mar, 2017
I'm thinking about cooking this for a friend however she doesn't like spicy dishes. Would your say this is spicy?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Mar, 2017
Removing the seeds from the chilli will make this dish much milder. If she doesn't like any heat at all then simply leave the chilli out altogether.
27th Jul, 2016
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.
25th Feb, 2017
You can add a can of chopped tomatoes and a can of coconut milk! yum.