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