A beautiful picture of the easy lentil curry with a few small Indian flatbreads.

Easy Vegan Lentil Curry – The Best Dal Saag Recipe

Easy Vegan Lentil Curry – The Best Dal Saag Recipe

This easy vegan lentil curry is the best dal recipe I’ve put together so far! The addition of a few greens gives extra flavour and tastes beautiful.


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The best dal recipe.
A photo of the very best dal recipe in action!

Introduction

This dish was never intended to be vegan. I don’t mean to say it wasn’t supposed to be. But it wasn’t something I did on purpose!

I still feel very much like I’m learning when it comes to some aspects of vegan cuisine. So I’m a lot more confident when I throw a few Indian flavours into the mix. That’s why I can make a dish like this and be absolutely sure I’m delivering the very best dal saag recipe I possibly can!

I’ve made a few dals recently. I love how wonderfully creamy they become after a long, slow cook. They’re also very versatile. I used to think of dal as being a type of curry. Really, it’s just an ingredient. The lentils in the dish take the place of the chicken or lamb. So you can do just as many different things with an easy lentil curry like this one as you can with any other.

In this recipe, the dal is served with greens, bringing a little extra life to the dish. In others, like my dal makhani, the lentils are simmer slowly with butter and yoghurt to make a notably less vegan lentil curry, but a beautiful one all the same! You even have a choice of pulses when it comes to dals. My chana dal recipe uses chickpeas to wonderful effect.

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About the Vegan Lentil CUrry Recipe

The most important thing in this recipe is the slow, gentle simmering of the lentils. It’s really important to make sure they cook long and slow. Breaking them down over time gives the dish its wonderful creamy consistency. And it ensures the flavours have ample time to mingle and develop.

A Dal Saag is so called because of the inclusions of lentils (dal) and greens (saag). You could use spinach, cabbage, collard greens or any kind of greens you can possibly think of. In this recipe, I used cauliflower leaves, which I would always heavily recommend. They’re not necessarily better than any other greens. But cauliflower is delicious, it’s great for Indian food and the leaves are wasted far too often! Nevertheless, I’ll give instructions for heavier greens like that and for lighter ingredients like spinach as well.

The spice mix can be played with however you like. The important thing is to make sure the whole spices have a little longer to cook. Especially the mustard seeds! Mustard seeds develop heat and flavour when they’ve been cooked that little bit longer. It’s important to give them that extra time.

A beautiful picture of the easy lentil curry with a few small Indian flatbreads.
A beautiful picture of the easy lentil curry with a few small Indian flatbreads.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

Some similar vegan and vegetarian recipes can be found a little lower down the page!

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.


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Subscribe Now

Subscribe to my newsletter now for a free guide to cooking curries! AND I’ll send you weekly tricks, tips and updates that will help you elevate your cooking to the next level!

The best dal recipe.

Easy Vegan Lentil Curry – The Best Dal Saag Recipe

This easy vegan lentil curry is the best dal recipe I’ve put together so far! The addition of a few greens gives the dish an extra little bit of flavour depth and tastes absolutely beautiful.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 People

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup Mung Lentils or otherwise – red would be a suitable substitute
  • 1 cup Greens cabbage, spinach or otherwise
  • 1 lrg Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel
  • 5 Cardammom Pods
  • Fresh Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 500 ml Vegetable Stock
  • Cooking Oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

Prepare your spice mix

  • Set 1/2 tsp mustard seeds aside in a pot.
  • Set aside, your 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp fennel in another.
  • Set aside your 1/2 tsp turmeric in another.
  • In a dry pan on medium high heat, toast your cardamom until it goes brittle. This will only take a minute or so.
  • Remove it from the heat and break apart in a pestle and mortar. Combine the crushed cardamom, shells and all, with the cumin and fennel.

Make your paste

  • Peel and finely dice 3 garlic cloves.
  • Peel and finely dice at least a square inch of ginger, more if you prefer.
  • Blend or grind them together and set aside.

Prep your remaining items and cook

  • Peel and finely dice one large onion, then add the diced pieces to an oiled pan on medium heat. Season with salt.
  • When the onion starts to turn translucent, make a space somewhere in the pan and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to cook untended for 30 seconds or so and then mix everything together.
  • Do the same thing again with the cumin, fennel and cardamom. After 30 seconds, mix everything back together.
  • Do the same again with the turmeric and, once again, after 30 seconds mix everything back together.
  • Add the curry paste and stir together. Cook everything through for another couple of minutes.
  • Add your tomato paste and stir everything together.
  • Add your lentils and stir in.
  • Submerge the lentils in stock and adjust the heat to make sure the pan simmers gently. There will definitely be stock left over.
  • Cook the lentils over several hours, until they break apart into a wonderful, creamy sauce. As they cook, continue to top up the liquid with stock as the water evaporates and the lentils expand. If you run out, continue to top up with water. This will take a few hours.
  • Once everything has more or less broken down, check the seasoning and add the chopped up greens. If you have something hardy like cabbage, cook for a further half an hour or so, continuing to top up the water as you go. If it’s something lighter like spinach, add it just minutes before you’re ready to serve, stirring in once it has wilted.
Keyword Beef Curry, dal, dal saag, indian curry, indian dish, Indian lentil Dish, lentil curry, saag

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