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Ginger Sweet Potato Dal with Coconut Leeks

Ginger sweet potato dal is an easy, high protein and quick weeknight meal that happens to be vegan and gluten-free. Topped with coconut leeks for extra flavour and texture.
Cuisine Indian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword all seasons, black mustard seeds, chili flakes, cilantro, coconut oil, coriander, dal, fall, ginger, herbs, leeks, lentils, lime, mint, parsley, quick, red lentils, sesame seeds, spring, summer, sweet potatoes, turmeric, winter
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


Sweet Potato Dal

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and small diced
  • 1 two-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 one-inch piece fresh turmeric (or substitute 1 tsp dried turmeric powder)
  • cups water, plus extra if necessary
  • sea salt to taste

Coconut Leeks

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green part julienned
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • pinch of salt

To Serve

  • cooked warm rice
  • flatbread
  • chopped parsley, cilantro or mint (or a combination)
  • black sesame seeds, for garnish (incredibly optional)


  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Heat up the coconut oil in the pot and add the ground coriander, mustard seeds and chili flakes. Stir about until the mustard seeds start to pop just a little bit.
  • Add the lentils, diced sweet potato, ginger, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Stir the whole mixture to combine/coat in oil. Add the filtered water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture is creamy and soupy, stirring occasionally. The sweet potato pieces should still be intact with a tiny bit of bite. The lentils will be broken down, filling out the mixture, about 25 minutes or so. Add more water if you need to. Keep it warm while you sauté the leeks.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks to the pan and sauté until leeks are soft and very fragrant. Season with salt. Add a squeeze of lime if you like. Remove from the heat.
  • To serve: divide the hot dal over 4 portions of rice. Top the dal with sautéed leeks and a few dribbles of the coconut oil left in the pan. Garnish each serving with the chopped herbs and black sesame seeds.


  • Every recipe I’ve read for dal tells you to add the salt at a different time (to avoid toughness or the lentils breaking down too soon etc). I add a solid pinch at the beginning when I pour the water and then adjust it at the end to my liking.