A Bowlful of Dreams: Sweet Potato, Lentil and Spinach Dhal

When I’m feeling a bit rubbishy I want a bowl full of something bright to look at, fragrant to smell and bursting with bold flavours to taste.  And if it’s chock full of veg and low fat protein then that’s a bonus. There is one meal that ticks all those boxes: A Bowlful of Dreams.

And it can be in a bowl and in your belly in about 25 minutes.

So if you’re feeling a little below par and need something to lift you up then maybe try this.




Serves 2, easily doubled.  Reheats nicely if stored in the fridge for 3 days.


  • A glug of oil
  • One onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 -1 red chilli (start small! You can always add more later!)
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2tsp garam masala
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 100g red lentils
  • 500mls hot stock (veg is fine, but if you have some chicken stock that needs using, you could do so here)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • As much handfuls of spinach as you can spare (about half a bag)

Nice bonus ingredients (the recipe will totally work without these, but they sort of elevate it if you have them to hand):

  • 2 tsp butter
  • juice of half a lime
  • a handful of coriander leaves.


  • Heat a glug of oil in a medium sized pan.
  • Finely chop your onion, garlic and chilli and add to the pan, turning the heat down nice and low.  Allow the onions to soften for about 5 minutes.
  • Chop your sweet potato.  (I rarely bother to peel mine, but you can if you choose.  If there are any ‘hairy bits’ on the sweet potato then do chop these off as they are touch to eat.)
  • Add your spices, stirring through the onion/garlic/chilli.
  • Add your lentils and chopped sweet potatoes.  Stir it all together so the spices and oil coats the lentils and sweet potatoes.
  • Pour the hot stock in and add the tbsp tomato puree, giving it all a good stir.
  • Bring to the boil, then pop a lid on the pan and turn the heat right down again.
  • Leave covered, stirring periodically (as lentils can catch really easily on the bottom of the pan), for about 15 minutes.
  • Check that the lentils and sweet potato are soft and ready to eat.
  • Throw in your spinach and stir through until it’s wilted.
  • Now you can add your bonus bits, if you want to.
  • Check for consistency and flavour.  If it’s too watery you can simply leave the dhal to bubble very gently on the hob with the lid off to reduce down a bit.  Depending on whether you’ve used stock cubes or homemade stock, you might want to add a little salt to really make the flavours sing.  Not spicy enough?  Add a little more chilli, cayenne pepper or even a bit of Tabasco to give it some kick.
  • Serve in deep bowls with a dollop of yoghurt, mango chutney and rice or naan (or both! I won’t tell anyone!).  I generally find this is a meal best eaten on the sofa, in your PJ’s, whilst watching something questionable on telly.  But that’s just me…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s