When I travelled to India, the one thing I enjoyed the most was the food. Curry for breakfast? Yes please. Chapatis at every meal? Don’t mind if I do. Every plateful of food was so vibrant, so explosive with flavors, I could have happily kept eating that way until the end of my days. Dal is my all-time favorite Indian dish. The friends I met on my travels joked about how it sounded like Sophie Dahl’s surname — and, coincidence, she’s one of my all-time favourite cooks. Destiny? I think so. I decided to compose my very own culinary ode to a beautiful dish and a beautiful lady, and so the Sophie Dal was born.

The Sophie Dal [Vegan]



Cooking Time




  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 head broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bag spinach 1 can green lentils
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala paste (powder might work, too)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Toast the cumin seeds for a minute or two. Add the onion and lightly fry for 5 mins, until translucid.
  2. Add the remaining vegetables and stock and cook for 25-30 mins until all vegetables are tender. A few minutes before you take the pan off the heat, throw in the spices, too.
  3. This dish is beautiful on its own, but you could also serve 4 people with this if you added some steamed vegetables and naan bread on the side; or you could serve the dal over some brown or wild rice.

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