Root Vegetable Dal

vegetable dal in a decorative bowl with cilantro garnish.

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This easy Weeknight Root Vegetable Dal Recipe is the perfect answer to dinner this week. It’s easily customizable based on what you have on hand and makes a hearty, vegetarian soup recipe full of nourishing ingredients!


  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup finely diced root vegetables of choice (carrots, sweet potatoes, celery root, butternut squash)*
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 x 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch of dried chili flakes
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Spice Oil:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (whole or ground)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander (whole or ground)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard (whole or ground)
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  1. To a stock pot add the rinsed lentils, diced root vegetables, diced onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric and chili flakes.
  2. Pour water on top and stir.
  3. Bring pot to a boil over medium heat and then simmer for 40 minutes, whisking often.
  4. In the last 10 minutes, whisk the dal vigorously to encourage the breaking down of the lentils.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Spice Oil

  1. In a small saute pan, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds (or ground in my case). Once the seeds are fragrant (about 5 minutes), remove from heat.
  3. Gently spoon the toasted spice oil on top of the dal or stir in if you would like.
  4. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice from lemon wedges.