I love how versatile this Lentil Dhal recipe is, it’s my favourite and I always have some stashed away in the freezer. Firstly, it’s a super simple recipe, and it makes loads.  Secondly, it is really nutrient dense – rich in fibre and protein from the red lentils, kidney beans and vegetables, lots of colour and powerful plant nutrients from the winter-warming spices.  Add another big gut-loving, immune-boosting tummy hug by using chicken bone broth as your liquid for added collagen.  And thirdly, you can make it into so many things to keep lunchboxes interesting… I like to freeze into single serves (silicon muffin trays or the giant ice cube trays are perfect), and use in the following ways…

  • Serve as is with some brown rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice in an insulated container
  • Thin out with a little extra broth or stock and serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and some flat bread (use the dough recipe from our scrolls and pan fry for homemade flatbreads) as a lentil soup
  • Pour the dhal over a baked potato (medium spud in a 180C oven for 60 mins – no foil, oil or pricking) with a dollop of yoghurt
  • Add a little leftover mashed potato to thicken, then wrap and bake in some puff pastry for an easy and portable curry puff.  Serve with some chutney or kasundi


Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 40 mins



2 tbsp olive oil

2 brown onions, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced

5cm sized piece ginger, peeled and grated

1-2 chili (of your preference, or leave out if your mouth is too tender)

3 tsp ground cumin

3 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2L chicken bone broth or vegetable stock

350g red lentils, rinsed

400g can kidney beans, drained ad rinsed

1 can chopped tomatoes

4 handfuls (approximately 120g) baby spinach


To serve:


Lemon juice

Greek yoghurt

Brown rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice, optional



  1. In a large heavy based pot, heat the olive oil over low heat.  Add the onions and cook slowly until they are soft, but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.  Add the chilli and ground spices, and cook, stirring for a further minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the broth or stock, lentils, beans and tomatoes.  Increase the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender (or longer if you want a thicker, less soupy dahl (if it’s too thick, add more water).
  4. Stir through the spinach and cook for a few minutes until completely wilted.  Remove from the heat and serve immediately over rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice if you wish (or as it is), topped with coriander, lemon juice and Greek yoghurt.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • For a vegan and vegetarian version, use vegetable stock in place of the bone broth.  Serve with coconut yoghurt.
  • Perfect for adding even more veggies for more nutrients or to use up your leftovers – chopped roasted veggies, grated cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, zucchini and shredded leafy greens work well.
  • You can find this recipe and more soft, nourishing foods in the Soft Foods for Sore Mouths ebook!


Recipe by Bree Jenner – The Simple Lunchbox