Bottom-of-the-Freezer Vegetable Dahl

Dahl is one of those fantastic, warming dishes that feels like a hug. Made with lentils and a variety of other vegetables, this version is as good for you as it is delicious.

I used a selection of slightly sad looking vegetables from the bottom of my freezer for this dahl – it’s a brilliant for using up odds and ends in a really tasty way.

What is Dahl?

Dahl is an Indian dish usually made with lentils, along with a variety of spices. The lentils are cooked down either in coconut milk or stock to make a lovely, creamy meal. It’s often served as a side dish.

What Vegetables can be Added to Dahl?

This is the fun part – dahl is incredibly versatile and so many vegetables can be added in during the cooking process. In my recipe, I’ve used frozen cauliflower, spinach and peas, but courgette, butternut squash, potato, sweet potato, peppers, carrots and tender stem broccoli could all work – in fact, I’m struggling to think of one that wouldn’t.

What Spices are Used in Dahl?

You can use a variety of different spices, but I’ve purposefully kept my recipe here extremely simple. My dahl uses store cupboard staples, so the only flavours here are onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder. Trust me, it’s delicious!

How Long Does Dahl Take to Make?

Dahl can be cooked in about 30 minutes. You want to simmer the lentils in the liquid until they’re soft and flavourful. It’s a great week night dish.

What Goes Well With Dahl?

Dahl works brilliantly as a side dish with almost any curry. It also works well as a main dish with rice. I’ve made a cucumber and tomato yoghurt to go with it here – that brings some wonderful freshness. You can also serve with poppadoms, naan or flat breads.

Using Freezer Vegetables in Dahl

You can chop and change the vegetables in this recipe to suit what you have in the freezer, but you’ll need to take account of how long they’ll take to cook. Larger vegetables like cauliflower, sweet potato, pumpkin etc. are quite dense and should be added early on to cook them through. Smaller vegetables like peas can be added right at the end because they just need to be warmed through.

Want more lentil recipes? Check out these ones.

This recipe takes 30 minutes and serves 4 as a main with the yoghurt.

Bottom-of-the-Freezer Vegetable Dahl

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
A delicious and versatile Dahl recipe, packed full of vegetables.
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 2 tsps medium curry powder
  • 300 g dried red lentils
  • 100 g frozen cauliflower pieces
  • 100 g frozen spinach
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 tbsps greek yoghurt


  • Peel and chop the onion. Peel and dice the garlic and ginger.
  • Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes until softening.
  • Add the lentils and curry powder. Stir, then pour in the coconut milk and 400ml water. Add your chunkier frozen vegetables – the cauliflower and spinach chunks. 
  • Turn down to a simmer and cook gently, stirring regularly, for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  • Add the peas – cook for another minute – then stir in the chopped coriander. Season with salt.
  • To make the yoghurt, chop the tomato and cucumber into 1cm pieces. Mix with the yoghurt and season with salt.
  • To serve, scoop the warm dahl into bowls and top with the cool yoghurt. Delicious!
Keyword vegetarian

One response to “Bottom-of-the-Freezer Vegetable Dahl”

  1. […] like my Bottom-of-the-Freezer Vegetable Dahl, this Bottom of the Fridge Soup with Leftover Vegetables is designed for those odds and ends that […]

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.