Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

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(143 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
  • Vegan

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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Katie Collins's picture
Katie Collins
3rd Jul, 2018
Loved this meal not only is it very healthy but it’s also very tasty and filling!
10th Jun, 2018
I loved this! I've been using the same very basic dhal recipe for years but this felt like more of a main than a side. It took a longer than expected so I will cut the sweet potato a bit smaller next time. I served it with the homemade naan from this site... my husband was definitely more excited about the bread than the dhal but overall happy! It looked lovely too, just like the photo. This is also veggie and gluten free, always useful.
Nick Clark's picture
Nick Clark
29th May, 2018
I love this dish. I used 2 good sized garlic cloves, plenty of black pepper seasoning and perhaps 3x the recommended spinach but it's very tasty. Good as a main meal with rice and a blob of chutney.
30th Apr, 2018
Delicious - tasty and comforting. I followed the recipe until the end when I added a very small amount of creamed coconut which gave it an extra taste dimension.
21st Mar, 2018
Nice for lunch but I'm not sure I'd want it for my main meal. I have served it as a side curry with a lamb curry which went really well
Katie Howseman's picture
Katie Howseman
17th Mar, 2018
My husband and I couldn't eat this which is rare for us. It was like bland savoury tasteless porridge. I had high hopes because we love Dahl, love sweet potatoes, love spinach, love lentils but it was just bland mush. Usually I change up recipes but this one, I followed exactly. I feel like it needed 4 times as much garlic/chilli/ginger/spices and half as much lentils and cooking time. I may try a loose version of this with more seasonings and whole green lentils again because it sounded so nice.
15th Mar, 2018
Super lovely meal! I was worried that it might need some carbs to balance it out, but it was fine as is. I have to admit, I did add a couple of rashers of bacon as I had them in the fridge, and it was absolutely delicious.
27th Feb, 2018
Delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception that I also added some rice and it came out delicious. It was really easy to cook too and I will definitely be making it again.
Michael Suhonen's picture
Michael Suhonen
21st Feb, 2018
I followed this recipe exactly as it says and with the exact ingredients, it was a very nice comforting meal. Under 400 calories and a great meal for the 5 - 2 diet plan.
Kate Forber
7th Feb, 2018
Lovely & easy to make - so tasty! Going on the mid week meal menu


Jean D
6th Jan, 2018
I’m very new to trying a vegan diet. Am I right in thinking this recipe is vegan? It only says vegetarian. Thank you.
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Jan, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, it is vegan too. Enjoy!
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.