Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

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(49 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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18th Feb, 2017
I used double the spices, frozen spinach, added some frozen veg, lime juice, yellow split peas and double the stock. It was nice as a quick add anything you like base recipe.
26th Jan, 2017
Simple to make with minimum prep, perfect for a weeknight meal. Full of flavour, and I will certainly be making this again. I would advise adding slightly more spinach as I found 80g was not enough; I served it with rice, naan bread, and mango chutney - and it went down a treat!
26th Jan, 2017
We had this for a family dinner so downgraded the chilli to 1/2 tsp of crushed chilli flakes and added the juice of one lime. Beautiful and enjoyed by all!
24th Jan, 2017
Really tasty meal and fragrant. When I make this again, I think I'll add a little yoghurt. Extra chilli gave this a great kick without spoiling the other flavours.
9th Dec, 2016
Great recipe. For me, it can take much, much more than just 80g of spinach. I find any less than that would mean some portions go without any spinach. Agree it's great for freezing or for lunch boxes with a chapatti.
7th Dec, 2016
Reallt nice! made it for next days lunch, filled me up, tasted great and is really healthy!
6th Dec, 2016
This recipe is fantastic! I added 3 garlic cloves because I love it (not to the delight of my bf!). I made this in the slow cooker - bunged everything in the morning and left it all day, as other comments said, I also found it needed a little more water - but generally fantastic!
17th Nov, 2016
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
15th Nov, 2016
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!
14th Nov, 2016
I prefer to use homemade chicken stock too


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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.