One Pot Indian Vegetable Dal

I grew up in the kitchen. Whether it was begging my dad to let my sister and I knead the biscuit dough (a few too many times), making 100 dosas with my Great Aunt, whom we called ‘Kunju Massi’, or watching my mom make us dinner after school. I always said our kitchen stools were the best cooking show I could ever watch.

My mom is Indian and a lot of my memories surrounding her involve the sound of mustard seeds popping in a pan, the smell of onions and a LOT of garlic, a pressure cooker wheezing as it released its air, or my mother blowing chapatis over an open flame at the stove-all while trying not to catch her long black hair on fire.

In my mind, she was a magician in the kitchen and I wasn’t the only one who thought so. When I was about 16 she was asked to teach a cooking class for a group of girls my age. My mom, being the over achieving, confident, and social butterfly that she is, decided to make samosas, Indian Vegetable Stew, and Kulfi (indian ice cream). I was a little self conscious that my peers wouldn’t take a liking to all of the spices, sauces, and sheer disregard to american ice cream but per usual, my mom hit it out of the park.

I can still taste the warming spices, perfectly tender vegetables, and the way the black eyed peas snapped open when they entered my mouth. I long for that soup and when I’m home I always ask her to make it. She doesn’t have a recipe, she just knows what I want and runs with it. She’s a magician, I told you.

The recipe I have here, cooked in a single pot, with no fuss over sautéing, browning, or busy work standing over the stove will yield you a soup similar in qualities. I make it weekly and thus make A LOT of it, feel free to halve the recipe.

This soup is:

  1. Filled with vegetables, At least 10 cups!
  2. Vegan, we use water, no vegetable or chicken stock needed (WIN)
  3. Approachable, you can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge
  4. Filled with Protein, The red lentils help us out here.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory, with turmeric and ginger
  6. Filled with flavor, we temper the cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds to maximize the flavor they hold.
  7. Will make enough for your lunch or dinner for days!

I hope you enjoy.




One Pot Indian Vegetable Dal

One Pot Indian Vegetable Dal

This one pot, indian vegetable dal requires no fuss standing over the stove, has over ten cups of vegetables, and makes enough to enjoy all week. It's flexible in terms of what vegetables you can add so I make it weekly.


  • 6 cups vegetables, small dice (i like zucchini, carrots, beets, butternut squash, celery root)
  • 2 cup red lentils, sometimes i use a combo of red and yellow
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 inch piece of ginger, grated on a microplane (no need to peel)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a Pinch of crushed red pepper, (add more if you like it spicy!)
  • 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, or 2 cups of sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Water, enough to cover
    for the tempered spices
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (you can also use cumin seeds)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
    to finish the soup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large pot, add the vegetables, red lentils, chopped onions, turmeric, ginger, crushed red pepper, garlic, tomatoes, and enough water to cover the vegetables by 1/2 an inch.
  2. Over high heat, bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer for 25-35 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are very soft. If needed, add more water to cover the vegetables if too much evaporates.
  3. Take a whisk and whisk through the pot to liquify or break down the lentils. The soup should get more ‘liquidy’ as you whisk. Turn the heat off and cover the pot, leaving a small crack to let some steam escape but still keeping it warm.
  4. Heat the oil over medium high heat. To test of the oil is hot, add a mustard seed, if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough.
  5. Lower the heat to medium and add the rest of the mustard seeds and let them pop and sizzle for about 15 seconds before adding the cumin and coridander. Add the cumin and coriander and immediately take the pan off the heat, swirling to coat the pan with the spices evenly for 5-10 seconds. Pour your tempered spices directly into the soup and stir.
  6. Add the juiced lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Probably 2-3 tsp of salt but start with 1 and work your way up. Remember, it’s a big pot of soup and you can always add more but you can’t take it away! I like a few cracks of pepper.
  7. Stir and garnish with cilantro.
  8. Serve with crusty bread, quinoa or brown rice, or enjoy alongside a green salad.
  1. This makes a lot of soup so feel free to halve the recipe.
  2. You can make the soup spicier by adding 1/4 tsp-1 tsp crushed red pepper depending on your preference. I only add a pinch because of my kids!
  3. Depending on the size of your vegetables, they may take longer or shorter to cook, the important thing is that they’re cooked-not crunchy. Don’t worry about the lentils, the softer the better!
  4. Depending on the choice of vegetables you may have a longer cook time, for example beets take much longer so you’ll have to check those to make sure they’re cooked-not crunchy.

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