Dhal with fork on plate

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
26th Sep, 2018
This is a great recipe, easily tweakable, add more or less spice as you wish. It's even better the next day so great for making ahead if you're planning to have a houseful and need to make ahead. It's one of my go to meals in a hurry also.
Weslei Souza's picture
Weslei Souza
16th Sep, 2018
I loved the recipe! Very flavoured meal and looks absolutely stunning. As I tip, if you prefer moderate level of spiceness, I would recommend adding red chilli powder and a full sweet chill instead of red chilli.
6th Sep, 2018
A very nice and satisfying meal. I added more chillies as we all like spicy food, and it was lovely. Will definitely make again. Just wondering if tinned lentils would go well with this if added towards the end of cooking time?
28th Aug, 2018
Lovely rich colour and flavour. I added a little bit more of most ingredients which worked well. Delicious!
27th Aug, 2018
A little bland for me. Nice...but no more than 3 stars from me
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


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?