Prep 10 minutes
Total 30 minutes
US | Metric
Coconut Red Lentil Dal

A mild but delicious plant-based dal with just a hint of heat, combining red lentils, coconut milk and flavourful spices. This healthy dish is high in protein and fibre, low in calories and naturally gluten-free. Bonus: it comes together in just 30 minutes – perfect for a weeknight dinner. Like spice? Add some extra cayenne pepper or chopped fresh chillies when cooking the aromatics. 

  • 300 g red split lentils
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 40 g fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 tbsps vegetable or coconut oil
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes (or chicken if not vegan)
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • steamed rice, to serve


  1. Rinse and soak the lentils for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prep the following ingredients: 1) Finely chop the red onion, mince the garlic and peel and mince the fresh ginger. 2) Combine the spices in a small bowl. 3) Separately measure out the water and the coconut milk.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  4. Add the stock cubes, breaking them up in the saucepan with a wooden spoon. Add the hot water and stir to dissolve. Add the coconut milk and soaked lentils and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the dal to a simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop the fresh coriander; reserve for garnish.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Taste and season the dal with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. To serve, top with the fresh coriander and serve with steamed rice.

STORAGE: this dal can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months; defrost in the fridge overnight before heating. 


Passionate home-chef, food enthusiast and recipe creator, based in London. Creating healthy, delicious dishes, outrageously indulgent treats and everything in between!

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