Coconut Lentil Dhal

After a few days of what felt like the beginning of summer, it’s back to being cold and dreary in London. Dhal is one of my favourite meals year round, but on a chilly day, there are few things more comforting and satisfying.

This may not be the most authentic recipe, but it’s absolutely delicious, filling, and so easy and inexpensive to make! I buy muy lentils quite cheap in bulk and keep them as a staple in my pantry. They are full of protein and so good for you!

This dish is also incredibly versatile in regards to how you can serve it. I make a big batch and alternate eating it with rice, vegan naan, or over a baked potato. You can also add in whatever other vegetables you like and customise it to your liking. Basically, you can’t go wrong with this lentil dhal.


Serves 4:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 5 shallots or 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Birds Eye chilies, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander/cilantro powder
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • 1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 125 grams of spinach (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste

To Garnish:

  • Chili Flakes
  • Fresh coriander/cilantro

Serve with:

  • Rice
  • Vegan naan bread (Pictured: Clay Oven Bakery’s Garlic and Coriander Naan from Morrisons- suitable for vegans)
  • Jacket Potato or Indian spiced potatoes


  1. Finely chop the onions or shallots; mince the ginger and garlic; de-seed and finely chop the chilies if using.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat and add the shallots or onions, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the onion or shallots are well-cooked and translucent.
  3.  Stir in the curry powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and cilantro/coriander powder and let cook for another minute.
  4. Mix in the tomato paste and a splash of water so that a thick curry paste forms.
  5. Stir in the lentils, coconut milk, and water or vegetable stock. Once it comes to a boil, cover, and let simmer on a lower heat.
  6. Continue to check on the lentils and frequently stir, adding more water or vegetable stock if necessary. The lentils are ready when all the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils have lost their individual shapes and have become more like a puree.
  7. When the lentils are fully cooked, stir in the spinach if using until completely wilted.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve, garnish, and enjoy!

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