Winter Vegetable Dal


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

Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 servings, 1 2/3 cups each


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 12 fresh curry leaves (see Tip) or 1 large bay leaf

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 serrano chile, finely diced

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 ½ cups water

  • 1 ½ cups red lentils (see Tip), rinsed

  • 1 (14 ounce) can “lite” coconut milk

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 ½ cups cubed peeled butternut squash

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (1-inch)

  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 (per serving)

342 Calories
11g Fat
50g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 342
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 15g 30%
Total Fat 11g 13%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Vitamin A 5580IU 112%
Vitamin C 29mg 32%
Folate 132mcg 33%
Sodium 618mg 27%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 5mg 27%
Magnesium 62mg 15%
Potassium 737mg 16%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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