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Red lentil dahl with spinach.

Red Lentil Dal with Spinach

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan


This red lentil dal with spinach is packed with fiber and protein, anti-inflammatory spices, and hearty vegetables.



For the Soup

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like avocado or refined coconut
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 generous handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Cilantro, for serving

For the Tadka

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like avocado or refined coconut
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds* (see substitution note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place 1 1/2 cups lentils in a mesh strainer and pick through for loose stones/dirt. Then rinse well under running water.
  3. Add lentils to the pot, along with 6 cups broth and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Cover tightly with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are broken down, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower and simmer until it’s tender and the soup is thick, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add all the spices (from garlic through black pepper) and heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  6. Lastly, add the spinach to the soup and cook just until it’s wilted. Turn the heat off and stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the spices with their oil. Season to taste with salt. Serve with cilantro.


Don’t let the lack of certain spices deter you from making this soup. Just compensate with more of whichever ones you do have for the ones you don’t have.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 5.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.9 g
  • Fiber: 16.6 g
  • Protein: 14.4 g