Parsnip Dahl topped with Roasted Parsnips & Pink Pickled Onions by Melissa Hemsley

An absolutely delicious dish that can be served as a main meal or even as a sharing mezze platter, it’s a perfect warming dish that is great for using up leftover veg you might have lingering in your fridge – gorgeous!

We love the addition of the pink pickled onions for an extra zing to the dish.

Eat Green - Delicious Flexitarian recipes for planet - friendly eating - Melissa Hemsley

Parsnip Dahl topped with Roasted Parsnips and Pink Pickled Onions by Melissa Hemsley

This is ideal to make at the end of the weekend with any leftover root veg that didn’t make it into the Sunday roast. It will set you up nicely for Monday’s dinner – just reheat and top with the onions and yoghurt and either freeze the rest or enjoy later in the week with Dosa-style Pancakes (page 190), Buckwheat Sesame Wraps (page 205) or with fresh leaves and a crispy fried egg on top.
Course Main Course, Mezze
Servings 6 People


  • 4 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 5 large parsnips (about 900g)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb ginger, finely grated
  • 400 g split red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh coriander, leaves and stems finely chopped separately
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk
  • 200 g leafy greens, like chard, leaves and stems finely chopped
  • Yoghurt, to serve (optional)


  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin or 1½ tbsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander or 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp black mustard seeds, roughly ground
  • A pinch of chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • A big pinch of sea salt and black pepper


  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 2 limes or 4 tbsp vinegar
  • A big pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to fan 220°C/Gas mark 9 and melt 2 tablespoons of the ghee or oil on a large baking tray in the oven.
  • Meanwhile, mix the spice mix in a small bowl and slice up three of the parsnips into about 18 wedges, say 5cm × 1.5cm, then toss the parsnip wedges in the oil on the tray with half of the spice mix. Pop in the oven for about 30–35 minutes, tossing halfway through with the maple syrup, until golden and going crispy at the edges.
  • In a large pan, fry the onion in the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occassionally, while you get on with everything else.
  • Add the remaining half of the spice mix, plus the garlic and ginger and fry for 3 minutes.
    Add the diced parsnips and lentils, the chopped coriander stems and the tomato purée and let fry. After a minute, add the coconut milk, then fill up the tin four times with hot water (1.6 litres) and pour in, stirring well. Pop the lid on, bring to the boil and immediately turn down to a medium heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times throughout to make sure the lentils don’t stick. Add more liquid if you think it needs it or if you like your dahl soupier, like I do.
  • Meanwhile, scrunch and massage the red onion in a bowl with the lime juice, salt and maple syrup, if using, for 30 seconds, then leave to bathe in the salty lime juice.
  • Once the lentils and parsnips in the pan are cooked, add the chopped greens, pop the lid on so they steam for 3–5 minutes until just tender, then taste for seasoning. Serve up each bowl, topped with the roasted parsnips, coriander leaves, pink pick- led onions and their juices and a dollop of yoghurt, if you like


If you have vegetable stock, use it instead of hot water for extra flavour.
Swap the parsnips for carrots, sweet potato, squash or cauliflower and you can use kale or spinach in place of the chard.
Eat Green - Delicious Flexitarian recipes for planet - friendly eating - Melissa HemsleyRecipe and image extracted from Eat Green - Delicious Flexitarian recipes for planet - friendly eating - Melissa Hemsley, Ebury Press
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