Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

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(56 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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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!
5th May, 2017
Delicious easy recipe. Make double as freezers well and also keeps well in fridge for a couple of days, in fact it just tastes even better. I add more garlic and spinach. Nice topped with cucumber raita and some mango chutney. Eldest even takes ro school as he can use a microwave there
25th Apr, 2017
This was unexpectedly tasty. I halved the ingredients except for the chilli and used 60g of spinach I had no sesame oil so used rapeseed, ate with some naan bread
7th Mar, 2017
How spicy is this recipe?
14th May, 2017
Not very unless you use a massive chilli and keep the seeds in with it (which is personally how I prefer it). Cumin and turmeric are not very in-your-face spices and the potato adds a sweet edge to the whole thing.
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!


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.