Dhal with fork on plate

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

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(497 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


  • 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 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wide-based pan with a tight-fitting lid.

  2. Add 1 finely chopped red onion and cook over a low heat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened.

  3. Add 1 crushed garlic clove, a finely chopped thumb-sized piece of ginger and 1 finely chopped red chilli, cook for 1 min, then add 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric and 1 ½ tsp ground cumin and cook for 1 min more.

  4. Turn up the heat to medium, add 2 sweet potatoes, cut into even chunks, and stir everything together so the potato is coated in the spice mixture.

  5. Tip in 250g red split lentils, 600ml vegetable stock and some seasoning. 

  6. 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.

  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then gently stir in the 80g spinach. Once wilted, top with the 4 diagonally sliced spring onions and ½ small pack torn basil leaves to serve.

  8. Alternatively, allow to cool completely, then divide between airtight containers and store in the fridge for a healthy lunchbox.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Fin Tate's picture
Fin Tate
1st May, 2020
Delicious and easy to make
28th Apr, 2020
Loved this and will definitely make again. Clean and light. Didn't have sesame oil but olive oil worked fine. Also added 2 chillis - with seeds which was the minimum I thought it needed. Put yogurt and fresh coriander on top - plus mango chutney, of course. I would not cut your sweet potato more than 1.5cm cubes - and you may need to add a little more stock.
Molly Yalci's picture
Molly Yalci
14th Apr, 2020
Nice but frustratingly the lentils turn to complete mush before the potato cooks.. next time will cook the potatoes in the stock for 5/10 mins before adding the lentils
7th Apr, 2020
Used butternut squash instead of sweet potato, two onions and 3 garlic cloves and added tamarind paste at the end. Lovely with homemade flat breads. Cheap, tasty and good reheated the next day.
Samantha Ali's picture
Samantha Ali
16th Mar, 2020
This was ok but I would not say great. I used frozen sweet potato and dried basil. The dal kind of mashed up and became mushy. I increased the recipe amounts. I also used 2 maggi chicken tomato buillion cubes as the seasoning. The ish tasted kind of plain, I should have added other ingredients like the other commenters. However, it was filling.
11th Mar, 2020
A great recipe and so quick to make! As usual, I took notice of others' advice and made a few 'tweaks.' Used 3 cloves of garlic. 2tsps of both turmeric and cumin and 1tsp Garam Masala. Definitely needed 800mls stock. Added lentils 5 mins after sweet potatoes so they didn't go mushy. Added halved cherry tomatoes towards end to add a little sweetness. Didn't have Thai basil but the spring onions were a great addition. Served with poppadoms, mango chutney and yogurt. No rice or naan breads are necessary.
6th Mar, 2020
So easy to cook and really delicious!! My meat loving partner loved it and so did my toddler. Will cook this again for sure. Only change I made was adding some paprika for my personal preference.
Molly Weller's picture
Molly Weller
25th Feb, 2020
Easy to make for a not so experienced cook and absolutely delicious!
13th Feb, 2020
Really easy to make and delicious. Perfect for dinner and can make enough to have lunches for the rest of the week for work. Will definitely be adding this to my go to recipes.
Giovanna Viscardi's picture
Giovanna Viscardi
2nd Feb, 2020
I made this for dinner tonight! I used yellow dried lentils that I soaked for a few hours but would have been better if I soaked overnight as they were still a little hard but still nice! The amount of vege stock was just right, I used fresh kale instead of spinach which added such a nice texture... I cooked the shallots instead as I didnt have an onion and I only used one large sweet potato as the dish was only for myself and leftovers! Will be making this again!!


Abitha Pallett's picture
Abitha Pallett
10th Sep, 2018
How long will this keep in the freezer?
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Sep, 2018
Thanks for your question. This will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
5th Sep, 2018
Could I use frozen spinach?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Sep, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can. Enjoy!
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.


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