Hearty Mushroom and Split Lentil Dhal

This is more than just a delicious recipe – it is part of a heartfelt cooking collaboration by Humane Society International – Africa (HSI-Africa), GreenMonday SA and the NGO Ladles of Love (LOL).

Ladles of Love is a non-profit volunteer-run soup kitchen in Cape Town that provides nutritious vegetarian meals to 200-300 people daily. 🍜💛 In order to raise funds for their soup kitchen drive, LOL has launched a range of grains and pulses that are sold to the public via their new online store here: https://www.ladlesoflove.org.za

HSI-Africa, via its Green Monday SA meat reduction program, are helping LOL to produce monthly #plantbased cook-a-long videos to promote the sale of LOL’s new products, and to show South Africans how tasty, quick and easy cooking with grains and pulses can be 🌱💚 Since I run the Green Monday SA movement in South Africa, LOL asked me to play chef in the videos. What an honour, and so much fun!

This Hearty Mushroom and Split Lentil Dhal recipe was the first of the series of cook-a-long videos we produced. Pesto Princess, a longtime partner & sponsor of LOL, joined the collaboration and provided two of their tasty pestos and pastes to use 🍵 and the lovely Wynne Bredenkamp captured and produced it all. I hope you love this cook-a-long as much as we did filming it. Please do support the incredible work LOL is doing by purchasing your grain and pulses from them online.

Hearty Mushroom and Split Lentil Dhal

By Leozette Roode Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 Cooking Time: 20 Total Time: 30

A nutritious and delicious go-to recipe for any occasion.


  • 1 cup dried split red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegan stock (vegetable or beef powder stock)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or canola oil) for frying
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 teaspoons Pesto Princess Charmoula paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 330g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Pesto Princess Charmoula paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh coriander
  • Pesto Princess Coriander and Chilli pesto



Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear using a sieve. Set aside.


Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick pot.


Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add a tablespoon of hot water if needed.


Add the garlic and fry until brown and fragrant.


Add the Pesto Princess Charmoula paste, cumin, coriander, and turmeric and mix to coat all of the onion and garlic.


Add the sliced mushrooms and fry until soft, add a tablespoon of hot water if needed.


Add the grated carrots and mix through.


Transfer the rinsed and drained lentils to the pot along with the two cups of stock.


Place lid on the pot and simmer over low heat.


When almost all of the water has absorbed, add the coconut milk, garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce, lemon juice, chilli flakes, and extra Pesto Princess Charmoula paste. Stir the ingredient well.


Return the lid to the pot and simmer further until the lentils are cooked soft. Stir occasionally.


Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh coriander.


Serve with rice, naan or rotis and a dollop of Pesto Princess Coriander & Chilli pesto.

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