This is a veg-pumped version of my favourite dhal recipe. I use cauliflower and sweet potato to make this a filling meal, but eggplant, broccoli or butternut could all be added or substituted here.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (13 votes)

Quick cook tip: if you don’t have the time or inclination to prep the vegetables, most supermarkets now stock pre-prepared packets that can be used here for your convenience.


  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 small green chillies, whole
  • Large handful of coriander, stalks finely chopped and leaves reserved
  • 250 g red lentils, rinsed
  • 75 g quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 400 ml tin full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 227 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 650 ml vegetable stock or water
  • ½ cauliflower (about 350 g), broken into florets
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 220 g), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • Small bag of baby spinach (80 g)
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Heat the oil in a casserole over a medium heat and gently fry the onion and ginger for 5–6 minutes. Add the turmeric, mustard seeds, chillies and coriander stalks and fry for a minute then add the drained lentils and quinoa.

2. Add the coconut milk, chopped tomatoes and stock or water and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the cauliflower and sweet potato, partially cover and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring often, until everything has thickened to a lovely dhal.

4. Stir in the baby spinach and lemon juice and allow to wilt. Check the flavour, adding more lemon juice if you like, and serve in deep bowls, scattered with the coriander leaves.