Energizing & Spicy Broccoli Dal

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 6, 2011


Do you ever read over a recipe and you say to yourself, there is no way that this can possibly taste good, but for some reason you just have to try it for yourself?

Yea, story of my life.

That is how the Green Monster happened, after all. [If you are curious to read ‘The story of the Green Monster’, see my post here.]

Anyways, I did not expect this Broccoli Dal would taste as good as it does. I came across this recipe in my Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook and I thought to myself, ‘How in the world could a broccoli soup taste good?’

I guess I still have broccoli issues that stem back to my childhood…


So of course, I made the soup. I’m really not afraid of Green things anymore.


Well, except Swiss Chard.

I’ve tried cooking chard many different ways and I still don’t ever see myself enjoying it. I’m still bitter over how many times we found Swiss Chard in our CSA box over the summer. If you ever find yourself in desperation to use up Swiss Chard that is stinking up your fridge, do not attempt to put Swiss Chard into a Green Monster. That’s all I’m going to say.

I still have nightmares of dirty gym socks.

Thankfully this soup is nothing like dirty gym socks. I was drawn to this soup because it has awesome cold-busting ingredients 1) Greens, 2) Indian spices. It will also clear your sinuses and flush out your body. Just trust me on this one!

Besides that, it tastes incredible.

The first time I made it, I followed the recipe to a tee and I loved it. The second time I made it, I had some new ideas and I changed some things around. I actually love it both ways. Today, I will share with you the adapted version…just have a tissue box ready when you eat it!



5 from 6 reviews

Energizing Broccoli Dal

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free


This unique spin on dal packs in a ton of green broccoli power! You'll feel energized by this light, and incredibly flavourful dish. This recipe is inspired by the Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook by Lauren Ulm.

5 cups (1250 mL)
Prep time
Cook time


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 5 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets (from 1 large head)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • Fine sea salt, to taste (I used just over 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala spice mix (I love Arvinda's brand)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Paprika, to garnish
  • Naan bread, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Add the oil into a large saucepan and increase the heat to low-medium so the oil can preheat.
  2. Add the broccoli into a food processor and process until very finely chopped (about the size of rice grains).
  3. Add the cumin and mustard seeds into the saucepan with the oil. The seeds should sizzle and begin popping in the oil right away. As soon as the seeds start to pop, cover the saucepan immediately with a lid, and remove the saucepan from the heat source. Let sit until the seeds stop popping, then remove the lid and stir.
  4. Stir in the onion, and place the saucepan back over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 more minutes until the onion softens.
  5. Now, add the finely chopped broccoli, broth, entire can of coconut milk, lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garam masala, turmeric, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  6. Increase heat to high and bring to a low bowl. Reduce heat to medium, cover with lid, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Now remove the lid and stir, and continue simmering, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, until the lentils soften and the mixture thickens. Stir every now and then to make sure it doesn't stick.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice to taste.
  8. Ladle the dal into bowls and serve with naan bread or pita bread. Garnish with paprika and a lemon wedge, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 cup (250 mL) | Calories 300 calories | Total Fat 11 grams
Saturated Fat 4 grams | Sodium 500 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 39 grams
Fiber 15 grams | Sugar 5 grams | Protein 13 grams

Nutrition information uses 1 teaspoon sea salt.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.


Add oil to a large saucepan over low-medium heat and add in the uncooked red lentils, chopped sweet onion, ground cumin, and mustard seeds.


Cook on low-medium heat for about 6-9 minutes until the mustard seeds start popping a bit and the onion is tender.

Be careful because the mustard seeds will POP!! One hit me in the eye! It was quite hilarious, but only after I realized that I would not go blind like I thought.

Now prep the broccoli. I shaved some stems and also used the florets. Roughly chop the broccoli to make about 4.5 cups packed.


Now add the chopped broccoli into a food processor and process until very fine.


Like so.


Add in the vegetable broth and broccoli into the saucepan.


Stir well. Cook this mixture, covered if preferred, for about 20 minutes over low-medium heat, checking it often. Add kosher salt to taste.


I added a bit of water as the soup got thick while cooking.


After 20 minutes, add in the milk, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, red pepper flakes, and additional salt (to taste) if necessary.


Heat on low until the lentils are cooked through, about 7-10 more minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve with paprika and lemon wedges.


Prepare yourself for a spicy, incredibly delicious, creamy Broccoli soup with an Indian flare. Despite what I anticipated, the soup does not have a strong ‘broccoli’ taste at all. It is very mild and barely detectable.


Just have a tissue handy because this soup will flush out your system! I think it was the first time in a week that Eric could breathe through both nostrils…

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

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Theresa March 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Eating this right now. So tasty!


Alex July 5, 2013 at 2:28 am

THIS WAS AMAZING!!! Thankyou so much for the recipe, hands down my favourite soup ever!


Amy August 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Hi Angela,

Instead of saying this looks great, I’m saying it is great!!!
I just made it and it is so tasty and spicy, thanks for posting this.
I love your site and I’m thrilled about your new book, good for you and Congratulations!
Keep the great stuff and vibes coming.


pspmags December 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm

This was amazing!!! Left out the chili flakes but otherwise followed the recipe to a T.
Was well received and got requests for the recipe. I’m not vegan and I loved it!
Thank you for sharing.


Robin January 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Love this!! I woke up this morning and had the strangest craving to cook a lentil dish and came straight to your blog because I just knew you’d have something great. I didn’t have much broccoli in the fridge so I supplemented with cauliflower and then threw in a few handfuls of spinach at the end.

The combination of spices is wonderful and I love the texture of the dish! The lemon juice is definitely essential. Can’t wait to serve this for dinner.


Gina @ Walk to the Mailbox January 28, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I made this tonight and it was amazing! I did use green lentils because they’re all my grocery had (polar vortex kept me from getting to whole foods). I enjoyed the texture very much but have nothing to compare it to! Also, I used canned light coconut milk in place of almond milk. Fabulous recipe!!!!!!


Jen P February 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm

I just made this tonight and O freaking MG it is so good!


Marta May 22, 2014 at 6:04 am

I’ve just cooked this soup, but doesn’t taste very much. Maybe next time I should try it without mustard. It makes there some strange flavour.


Elizabeth September 21, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Made this tonight. DELICIOUS!


Rebecca May 26, 2015 at 10:34 am

Hi Angela, I love your blog and cookbook (that I got for Christmas). I am definitely gonna try your Brokkoli-Dal in the next days. Had to laugh about your enthusiasm for Swiss Chard. I had the same attitude until I learned the simplest and super delicious way to prepare it from my boyfriends italian mum. It’s essentially just steaming the Swiss chard until soft, put into a bowl, add good amounts of fresh lemon juice, olive oil and salt, mix… tadaaa finito. It makes an amazing green side to any mediterranian dish =)
Keep up with this great and inspiring blog!


Fawn July 2, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Loved this! There’s a local coffee shop near my work and they make soups daily from scratch, and of them is an awesome broccoli dal. They post the ingredient list but I never have time to write it down; I do remember they used coconut milk so that is what I put in (used light version). Also, I just chopped the broccoli and threw them in, then used an immersion blender at the end to make it creamy. I accidentally added too much water so it was quite liquidy but still delicious! Thanks for posting.


Casey September 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Mine didn’t look nearly as colorful and beautiful but it tasted darn good :) and easier than I thought too


Ann October 20, 2015 at 3:14 am

I have made this easy peasy dal quite a few times and it is absolutely delicious! My carnivore partner loves it and it is his favourite lunch. I have tweaked the recipe a bit, like a few other readers I am substituting the milk for half a can of light coconut milk and instead of the blender (it takes such a long time to clean it!) I just finely chop the broccoli.The colour is wonderful and the texture is perfect.


Highland Fashionista January 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm

This was absolutely delicious. my lentils were a little thin on the ground (barely had a cup), so I cut back some of the milk. I used coconut oil, and also added a handful of fresh curry leaves that insist on falling off of my neighbour’s plant that I am supposedly “taking care of” while he is in Asia. I am an inherently lazy cook, and would eat the same salad every day if left to my own devices. Your site keeps me right…I have yet to make something from your site that has not turned out and been delicious!


Natalie February 20, 2016 at 2:13 am

This turned out really well. I’m annoyed I don’t have more to eat. I didn’t add lemon or milk and I used curry powder instead of garam masala and just a pinch of cumin with some added frozen corn and peas. Despite my inability to follow a recipe it turned out great. I cooked it a little long so the red lentil just melted into a thick sauce for the veggies. Yummy.


Angela Liddon February 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Yum, Natalie! Your recipe tweaks sound delicious. I’m glad you enjoyed the dish!


Ambika May 10, 2016 at 10:07 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is soooo gooood! I have made it twice already. My family loves it.


Alyssa June 4, 2016 at 6:50 pm
Recipe Rating:

Absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely be making this one again :)


Sharon July 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is such a comfort meal! Really tasty and perfect with rice or potatoes as a meal for dinner. I have frozen this in portions and I am really enjoying it. 5 stars for sure!


Angela Liddon July 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying the dal, Sharon! :)


michelle October 9, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Hi Angela,

It looks like this recipe has a bit different directions if you read the step by step at the top versus the directions along with pictures, such as adding the milk before you cook versus after its cooked for 20 min. Maybe I’m reading it wrong? Which version should I follow?



Sharon T October 18, 2016 at 5:05 pm
Recipe Rating:

Ah-mazing! Felt a bit of a cold coming on and this nipped it in the bud! Delish! Love all the ingredients and so easy to make! This will be on our rotation for sure! Thanks for all your recipes!


Angela Liddon October 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

I’m so happy to hear it helped stave off that cold, Sharon! And, of course, that you enjoyed the recipe, to boot ;) Wishing you a healthy fall season!!


Antonia January 19, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Truly delicious. I have lived in Asia for 15 years and wa so lucky to visit India numerous times. This soup reminds me of the beautiful people and their food in India. I added some extra curry powder for more heat. Yummm. Thanks Angela


Angela Liddon January 20, 2017 at 2:16 pm

I’m so pleased to hear you enjoyed it, Antonia! :)


Melissa January 28, 2017 at 4:30 am
Recipe Rating:

I made this tonight – it’s the first recipe of yours I’ve tried and it worked out really well, so thank you, Angela! I have a naughty habit of tinkering with recipes and I added a can of corn kernels and a small diced eggplant. I also used 1 each of long green and red chillis instead of chilli flakes. Increased amounts of every thing else accordingly and it came out sooo tasty! So many freezer meals =)


Angela Liddon January 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for sharing those great additions you made, Melissa! I love experimenting in the kitchen, too, and it’s always so great to hear about the twists readers add to my recipes. :)


Hannah July 8, 2017 at 11:45 am

Great! I’ve been eating this with rice and samosas and it makes a wonderfully comforting meal! My body feels good after eating so thanks for this!


Angela Liddon July 10, 2017 at 9:03 am

So happy to hear you (and your body!) are loving the dish, Hannah :) Thanks for taking the time to let me know!


Betsy February 23, 2018 at 2:56 pm

A note for the chard haters:
Swiss chard contains oxalic acid, which has an unpleasant taste. If you boil it uncovered for three minutes to get rid of that acid, it tastes mild and a little bit sweet (especially the fat stems of the white-stemmed variety, which take an extra two minutes of boiling — but don’t overdo the boiling time or they lose flavor and the texture deteriorates). I got the instructions from The World’s Healthiest Foods website (although I eat it warm with just a bit of Smart Balance) here – well down on this informational page:
If you haven’t tried boiling it, you might give this vegetable another try to see if you like it that way.


jodey March 29, 2018 at 3:04 am

Is it just me but the written instructions are different from the visual ones??


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 29, 2018 at 9:29 am

Hey Jodey, Yes it’s possible! I updated this recipe recently for the app. Whenever in doubt please follow the written recipe directions. :)


Darci Shook-Woolley May 4, 2018 at 7:56 pm

This is excellent! I didn’t have mustard seeds, and I used a can of coconut cream that is NOT light. My husband also loves this. Next time, I will have mustard seeds on hand. Thanks for this fantastic recipe!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 5, 2018 at 2:06 pm

mmm good call on using full fat coconut milk…never a bad idea! :) So glad you both loved it.


Carrie July 24, 2018 at 12:14 pm
Recipe Rating:

I’m very late to the party on this one, but I made this last night and had to review and comment! I discovered this on the OSG app when making my grocery list for the week and decided to give it a try. I subbed cauliflower for the broccoli (the store was out of organic broccoli) and it was still absolutely delicious! Very light and flavorful. I also did not have mustard seeds so I used a whole grain dijon and it translated very well. Enjoying the leftovers as I type this, will definitely be making this again! I served it last night with freshly toasted naan and for lunch having with half an avocado for cooling purposes. This recipe most definitely packs a punch of spice and will you right up! Going to keep this one on tap when any stuffiness arises. Thoroughly enjoyed!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 26, 2018 at 7:39 am

Hey Carrie, Oh I love your swaps!! I’m going to try this out next time. Thanks for your app support too!


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