Masala Dal with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

About the recipe author: Melissa is a gardener, biologist, and busy homeschooling mother of 3. She is passionate about empowering others to take back their health and grow their own food no matter where they live. She founded BodhiGrow to share her knowledge and love of gardening with others.

It’s no surprise that experts are advising us all to eat more fruits and vegetables. The healing effects of a nutrient-dense diet are nearly too many to count! But sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with new meals that are easy and healthy.

Fortunately, this richly-flavoured, nutrient-dense dinner is surprisingly quick to prepare! Garam masala and sweet onion offer depth to the lentils. They are balanced perfectly by a hint of orange flavour in the sweet potatoes, and the savory taste of the sautéed kale. With this recipe, you’ll not only reap many health benefits, but you’ll please your palate and stick to your budget too.

All the ingredients are readily available at your local market, or you can try growing your own. Spring is the perfect time to plant kale and sweet potatoes. And if you don’t have a garden, they’ll grow just fine on an apartment balcony or patio!

Vegan Masala Dal with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This richly-flavoured, nutrient-dense dinner is surprisingly quick to prepare! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: dahl, dal, entree, indian, main course, spicy, vegan
Servings: 2 people


For the dal:

  • 1 cup rinsed lentils
  • 1.5 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (for cooking)
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.25 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth

For the mashed sweet potatoes:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (for cooking)
  • 0.5 cup orange juice
  • 0.25 cup coconut milk (not tinned)

For the kale topping:

  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or aminos


  • Sauté chopped onions on medium heat in coconut oil (approx. 1 tbsp) until they begin to soften. Add minced garlic and cook for another few minutes.
  • Add another ½ tbsp of coconut oil to the onions and stir in garam masala and curry. This process of “blooming” the spices enhances the flavour. Stir frequently for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add a splash of water or broth and stir to deglaze the pan.
  • Place lentils and 3 cups of water or broth in the pan with the onions. Stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soft, adding water as necessary to keep them just barely covered. Add salt (and cayenne to taste if you would like them to be spicy).
  • While the lentils are cooking, cut sweet potatoes into quarters and place them in a steamer basket in a large pot with an inch or so of water. Cover and steam the potatoes until fork tender. Leave them on the stove to stay warm while you cook the kale.
  • Separate the kale leaves from their stems. Chop the stems and cook them in a skillet with a bit of oil on medium-high heat for several minutes. Then add the chopped kale leaves to the skillet along with the soy sauce. Sauté, stirring frequently, until wilted. (Alternatively, you could make kale chips ahead of time for a satisfying crunch!)
  • Remove the cooked sweet potatoes from their pot and place them in a large bowl. Add coconut oil, orange juice, and coconut milk then mash them with a fork. You can remove the skins if you wish, but it isn’t necessary. Add salt to taste.
  • Serve the lentils on a bed of sweet potatoes and top with kale. Some folks enjoy a scoop of plain yoghurt on top too!


You can play with the level of flavour, spicy heat, and salt in this meal according to personal preference, but the coconut oil and orange juice are key players. You’ll miss them if you leave them out!


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Vegan Masala Dal with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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  • The BOSH book is on sale!⁠
Ben bought me 'BOSH! How to Live Vegan' after I had Ava, to read while feeding. I'm really enjoying it!⁠
It's a great read for new or existing vegans, with life hacks, advice and difficult questions answered. Things like dealing with friends and family, wearing old leather clothes, are all discussed.⁠
It's on sale for £7 right now ⁠
(I'll pop the link in my bio).⁠
PS. Have you seen the new cooking show from the BOSH boys? It's on ITV, called Living On The Veg. Go get it on catch-up. ⁠
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  • Planning in advance when going vegan helps so much!⁠
Even now, as a vegan of 6 years, I create meal plans. I also see if there's any prep work I can do while baby is asleep. It keeps me on track.⁠
If you’re THAT person – the one who makes dinner plans when they arrive home from work, you could try advance planning. It is much easier to follow a varied vegan diet if you know what you’ll be eating, have the ingredients in, or even partially prepped. You won’t be tempted by a snack on the way home, because something delicious will be waiting! ⁠
It doesn’t have to be a week’s worth of complex meals, just a few days ahead. Choose easy options when you know you’re home late, and use weekends for experimentation. Being organised can be handy AND fun!⁠
Slow cookers also save us from ‘hanger’. Make use of one! Pop a casserole or curry in before you leave the house, so dinner is ready when you’re home. ⁠
Make extra portions of meals to freeze, so you have your own ready meals on lazy days. ⁠
Do online shops too – you can filter for vegan foods at most supermarkets now and have them delivered to your door. ⁠
And if you’re a takeaway fiend, know what the vegan options are beforehand. This works well at restaurants too – know your choices before you go! ⁠
Preparation is your friend.⁠
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  • ⭐️ How Can I Ditch Dairy For Good? ⭐️⁠
As a new vegan, dairy can be a tough one to completely eliminate from the diet. I remember finding it a bit of a minefield at first.⁠
There's nothing worse than picking up an item off the shelf and finding it has milk in it... especially when it could easily have been made without!⁠
I remember how jammy dodgers used to be vegan, and then they created a new recipe with milk in... just why?⁠
It's worth doing though! Not only is it an industry based on suffering, dairy is not designed for us to consume anyway - it's chemically made for baby cows. It causes many of us health issues such as bloating and IBS too.⁠
But there are so many delicious alternatives out there too, so it’s a great place to make a change. ⁠
Do you need help? This post is a great starting point. Just head over to my bio to read it!⁠
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  • Have you been to Spain? One of our favourite places is Barcelona. We've visited twice, and always share a huge vegetable paella when we're over there. It's so good!⁠
Nobody makes this dish like they do - but we can try! ⁠
The joy is you can throw in any veggies you have that go well with a tomato-based sauce. This serves 3-4 and can be adjusted if needed.⁠
🥣 Vegetable Paella 🥣⁠
Ingredients -⁠
1 litre vegan bouillon/stock⁠
300 g paella rice (you can get away with using risotto rice if you have it to hand)⁠
80 g sweetcorn⁠
60 g white onion⁠
4 pieces babycorn⁠
50 g broccoli⁠
50 g frozen peas⁠
400 g chopped tomatoes⁠
200 g passata/blended tomatoes⁠
80 g chicken-style faux meat (chicken pieces or Linda Maccartney pulled chicken works well. You can leave this out if you're not a fan of faux meat)⁠
1 tsp garlic puree (optional)⁠
1 tsp ground paprika (optional)⁠
Instructions - ⁠
⭐️Add everything apart from the passata and bouillon to a wide pan.⁠
⭐️Add around 600ml of the bouillon to your pan and put on a moderate heat (it should be simmering constantly). Keep stirring so you don't get too much sticking to the bottom!⁠
⭐️The paella will be absorbing your bouillon constantly. If it starts to get a little dry, add more of your bouillon in 100ml increments.⁠
⭐️Add remaining ingredients after 10 minutes.⁠
⭐️The paella rice should be softening and expanding, with the veggies mostly cooked through after about 20 minutes. Add your passata now and mix in. Leave for another 5 minutes or so, and give it a taste test before serving.⁠
⭐️If you have a lemon or lime, cut in half and squeeze over your finished dish. Enjoy!⁠
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⭐️ Try New Foods Frequently! ⭐️⁠
Vegan food is amazing. You can get a substitute for anything these days, even haggis, caviar and black pudding!⁠
Keep trying new things. The first vegan cheeses I tried were awful, they smelled like old socks and wouldn’t melt on toast! Of course, I was just unlucky, there are hundreds of delicious cheeses out there. I persevered, and now I know exactly what to buy for my taste. There are many different styles of chocolate, fake meats, tofu. When I speak to fellow vegans, they always say that their diet is much more varied and interesting now. It’s an amazing opportunity to diversify and find what works for you.⁠
For a great range of products, check out online vegan stores, independent health food shops, and vegan fairs. The festivals are especially great to visit, as you can grab items not found in shops, save on delivery, and they often have event offers on too!⁠
There’s also the obvious places to visit like large supermarkets and Holland and Barrett. They do great staples like cheese, yoghurt and sandwich ‘meat’.⁠
Read reviews and recommendations online too. Other vegans will be able to give you detailed descriptions of what products taste like, and great vegan alternatives for your old firm favourites. In other words, variety really is the spice of life!⁠
Have you tried anything new this week?⁠
#vegan #vegans #vegetarian #vegetarians #ukvegetarian #ukveggie #veggieuk #vegetarianuk #healthyeating #coaching #vegancoaching #helpgoingvegan #newvegan #veganhelp #vegansupport #parttimevegan #vegancurious #almostvegan #goingvegan #veggie #animallover #veganuary #veganuary2020 #veganuaryeats #veganshare #vegetarianlife #vegetarianlifestyle #flexitarian #petlover #animallover
  • We have a few new lovely Learner Vegans here, so allow me to re-introduce myself!⁠
I'm Katy, creator of Learner Vegan.⁠
I live in the UK (not so sunny Staffordshire!), with a 4-year-old girl and a brand new baby, Ava (she's 2 months now). We also have 3 girly rescue cats in the house, so my husband is rather outnumbered around here! 🤣🤣⁠
Things I like:⁠
👍Tea (strong!)⁠
👍Bourbon biscuits⁠
👍Writing/reading/mindset books⁠
👍Yoga ⁠
👍Anything to do with veganism⁠
So why Learner Vegan?⁠
When I was 24, going vegan seemed impossible for me. I had all these preconceptions, thinking it would be so difficult.⁠
I wasn't on a high wage and veganism is expensive, right?⁠
I had no other vegans around me to lean on and my husband ate meat - it's just not practical, is it?⁠
I didn't want to live on salad. I didn't want to be nutrient-deficient. I wasn't sure that just one person could make a difference. The list goes on and on...⁠
But it turned out these were imaginary roadblocks. Some created by my own mind, others by a society that puts profit over compassion. When I finally decided that I couldn't contribute to animal cruelty and environmental damage anymore, veganism was much easier than I ever imagined.⁠
My food bill didn't go up. I could eat filling meals like pad thai, tacos and the occasional naughty vegan cookie. I was healthier than ever. I found great new friends and support through events and online communities. My spouse was happy to try my vegan offerings (and is now vegan too!).⁠
My only regret? That I didn't listen to my gut feeling and do it sooner.⁠
6 years later, there are still myths and stigma surrounding a vegan lifestyle. The great thing is that there are more vegan food options out there than EVER before, and online resources to simplify the transition for you. That's why I started Learner Vegan - to make going vegan SIMPLE, CONVENIENT and AFFORDABLE. I love this community and I hope you will too!⁠
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