Creamy coconut, sweet potato and spinach dahl

Dahl has to be one of my favourite meals.

It’s warm, creamy and comforting, and my version is super versatile. I usually just chuck in whatever I have on hand, and as long as the liquid to lentil ratio is more or less the same, it always works out.

I’ve heard people shy away from home cooked dahl because of the time it takes to cook. Maybe that’s true for a more traditional recipe, but my version takes 45 minutes and minimal effort, and the end result is nothing short of delicious.

Don’t be fooled – the ingredients list looks long – but most of it is things you already have.

Absolutely loaded with veg, creamy coconut and Indian spices, this dish is also incredibly convenient, making a big batch from mostly cupboard-staple ingredients.

I like to serve mine with basmati and a wedge of lemon, take some leftovers for lunch the next day and freeze the rest for whenever I need it.

If you like a less-firm and more liquid dahl, add more liquid – either stock, coconut milk or water – and leave everything else the same.


1 red onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic

2 tbs chopped coriander stalks + handful of chopped coriander leaves

1 tbs coconut oil

1/2 tsp group cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp ground chillis

2 tsp curry powder

700g sweet potatoes (approx 2 medium), peeled and chopped into even, 2cm cubes

300g dry red lentils

1 400ml tin full fat coconut cream

1 400ml tin chopped tomatoes

400ml salt reduced vegetable stock (more if you prefer a more liquid consistency)

200g halves cherry tomatoes

250g (1 bag) baby spinach

*Serves six.


In a large, heavy bottomed pot sauté oil, onion and garlic until softened. Add coriander stalks and fry for another minute before adding spices. Mix well and continue to cook until fragrant – approximately two minutes – while stirring regularly.

Add chopped sweet potato and lentils and mix well to ensure they are completely coated in the spice mix.

Add coconut cream, chopped tomatoes, stock and cherry tomatoes and mix well. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for the next 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly. At this point taste the liquid and add salt and pepper to taste – but you shouldn’t need much.

When the dahl has reached your desired consistency, turn off the heat and stir through the spinach and chopped coriander leaves, allowing the heat to wilt the greens.

Serve with rice and a wedge of lemon.

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