This southern-Indian-inspired vegetable dal recipe is rich and creamy thanks to light coconut milk and gets exotic flavor from spice-infused coconut oil. Serve with flatbread or naan.

Ivy Manning
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves (if using) and cook until the seeds begin to pop, about 20 seconds. Add onion, chile, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

  • Add bay leaf (if using), water, lentils, coconut milk, salt and turmeric to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to make sure the lentils don't stick to the bottom. Add squash, cauliflower and potato; return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Remove from heat; stir in garam masala and lime juice.


Find fresh curry leaves in the produce section (and sometimes in the freezer) at Asian markets. Any unused leaves can be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.

Red lentils are excellent in soups, salads and vegetarian stews. You can find them in the natural-foods section of your supermarket or in natural-foods stores.

Nutrition Facts

342 calories; protein 15.1g; carbohydrates 49.9g; dietary fiber 8.7g; sugars 2.9g; fat 10.5g; saturated fat 7.3g; vitamin a iu 5580.2IU; vitamin c 28.9mg; folate 131.6mcg; calcium 75.5mg; iron 4.9mg; magnesium 62.4mg; potassium 737mg; sodium 617.7mg; thiamin 0.3mg.

Reviews (4)

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11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Like eating at my fav. Indian restarurant Fabulous!! I served with naan bread. Lots of leftovers that I served with basmati rice. I added 2 peppers because I like it spicey!! Will fix this often!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Healthy and delicious! I cooked this dal for my family and everybody loved it! It smelled amazing and tasted delicious. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I did not have butternut squash on hand so substituted with cubed carrots. I also added a little bit more salt than the recipe called for. I will definitely cook it again. Pros: easy simple healthy Cons: none Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Super Soup! Loved this recipe. Easy to make and tasty. We prefer a bit more spice so added shiratcha when eating it. Next time will add red pepper flakes while sauteing the onions etc. Pros: Easy to make. Cons: Needs a bit more spice. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Making the Winter Vegetable Dal was as enjoyable as eating it! We made this Vegetable Dal along with the Indian flatbread and enjoyed the spice of the soup coupled with the nutty flavor of the flatbread. We doubled the recipe to share with our friends who are also trying to clean up their diet. Pros: Delicious finished product! The kids loved it as much as I did! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Tastes fantastic and easy to make. Has lots of vegetables very easy to prepare and tastes better than soup in most resturants which are loaded with salt if you love indian spices you will like this soup. Pros: Easy great flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy! Very easy and tasty. Didn't have squash and didn't miss it but did add cubed (and sauted) tofu for more protein. A nice addition. Next time will add green beans for color. Pros: Easy & tasty Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I used up the vegetables in my fridge to make this recipe and it was great. I didn't have all the spices so I used red curry paste instead. Great way to clean the fridge and have leftovers that reheat easily. Pros: easy tasty leftovers versatile Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Winter Dal Soup is Sunshine in a Bowl This soup is delicious. I used the remainder of a box of vegetable stock instead of some of the water. It is hearty healthy and chock full of stuff I wanted to cook up and get off the counter! Pros: Easy to prepare Cons: Could be bland brown mustard seeds could be a challenge Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious comfort food Absolutely delicious soup full flavored! Every bite becomes better and better. It is almost addictive we couldn't stop ourselves from taking 2 portions. Everybody loved it even the kids. I will definitely keep that recipe. Read More