Red Lentil and Coconut Dhal

This recipe can be served as a dhal and eaten as it is, with chapattis or you can use it as a sauce and pour it over vegetables. I find it works well over the top of a mixture of sliced, sautéed mushrooms and cauliflower florets.

You have to watch it and add hot water or stock to stop it  from sticking – and keep the lid handy because it spits and bubbles!

Definitely worth cooking for friends – everyone seems to like it and I am always being asked for the recipe.

If you prefer a more traditional dhal, then leave out the coconut and add lots more garlic. This sauce is best eaten the same night it is made as it doesn’t freeze well.


Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
225g red lentils
¾ pint vegetable stock
25-50g creamed coconut

How to Cook

  1. Sweat the onion for a few minutes, until soft.
  2. Mix the spices in a little hot water and add to the onion, stir well, then add the garlic and cook for two minutes.
  3. Stir in the lentils and fry for one minute, then pour in the boiling stock.
  4. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes (be careful when lifting the lid as this mixture spits!)
  5. Dissolve the coconut in a little boiling water and stir it into the lentils. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture has reduced to the desired consistency before serving.

Serves 4


Published by

Mrs Pantry

Chief Cook

2 thoughts on “Red Lentil and Coconut Dhal

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