Make Ahead

Sweet Potato & Spinach Dal

September 18, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Kate
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

As I have never been to India, my only experience with dal comes from local Indian restaurants with vegan specialties that make my heart flutter, and a handful of how-to’s online. After some trial and error, learning about tempering – as in cooking the spices a bit, and testing out a variety of flavors – this dal with added sweet potato and spinach is my favorite take on the traditional. As the red lentils cook and turn quite mushy, (in a good way!) the sweet potato pieces become incredibly soft and sweet, especially when they’re infused with spice from turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Coconut milk makes the whole pot of goodness extra creamy and spinach adds in a little green and contrasting texture. While the whole pot cooks on the stove – for a mere 20 or so minutes – the aromas in your kitchen will completely mellow you out and make you so happy; dal just smells so good! —Kate

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato, skin scrubbed
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
  • 1 dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bunch (or handful) fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (to garnish)
  • 1 pinch sea salt, to taste
  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add sweet potato, onion, and garlic to the pan and gently sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in spices and lentils and stir to coat with oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spices become fragrant.
  3. Pour in water and coconut milk and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and let simmer on the stove about 20 minutes – stirring every so often until dal turns into a thick and soupy mixture.
  5. About 5 minutes before serving, add in a big pinch of sea salt to taste and a big handful of baby spinach. Let spinach cook and wilt before serving.
  6. Serve dal hot with brown rice and a loving handful of chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
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3 Reviews

Molly March 1, 2017
Aside from the mistake neglecting to mention the coconut milk in the ingredients, I thought this was delicious. I've made it twice, the first time sticking pretty closely to the recipe. The second time I doubled the spices, added a few small fresh hot chile peppers. I used a can of coconut milk, plus about a cup of water. Topped it with steamed broccoli.
mac October 24, 2016
The ingredients list seem to have forgotten the coconut milk. So instead of 3 cups of water I just used 2 and then a regular 13-15oz can of coconut milk. Turned out great!
Sf2oak November 12, 2015
Recipe reads, "3. Pour in water and coconut milk..." Coconut milk is not listed as an ingredient-how much? If not a lot what do you do with leftover? recipe looks good, will try soon. Dal fan.