If you look up comfort food in the dictionary, coconut red lentil dahl is bound to be listed amongst the dishes that are good for the soul. It’s warming, flavourful, full of beautiful colour and makes for a very happy belly. It’s a perfect Fall dish and I know we’re not quite there yet, but I may be starting to dream of boots, sweaters, pumpkins and grey, rainy days. We only have a few short weeks of Summer left here in Vancouver, so I won’t wish for Fall just yet, but I’m glad it’s just around the corner. It’s such a wonderful season and a great time to get cozy with coconut red lentil dahl.
Easy, Vegan Coconut Red Lentil Dahl
This is an incredibly easy dish to make and it only requires a few everyday spices and ingredients. Aside from spices all you need are red lentils, canned coconut milk, onion and garlic.
Basically you just add everything to the pot and let it cook. Slowly but surely, over 30 minutes or so your home will begin to fill with the fragrant smells of curry and coconut, two things that were just meant to go together.
Nutritional Benefits of Dahl
This dish is very high in plant-based protein, coming in at 19 grams per serving! It also high in fiber with 12 grams per serving. If you use light coconut milk, the dish is fairy low in fat, just 7 grams per serving however you can use full fat coconut milk for a creamier dish. I’ve made it with both and it tastes great either way but I’d recommend regular coconut milk if you don’t mind a little added fat. If you’re looking for a low carb dahl, you can always try my Cauliflower Coconut Dahl!
This dish also has wonderful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties thanks to the onion, garlic, curry powder and turmeric. Even more reason to enjoy it during the colder months, it’ll keep your immune system on it’s toes and ready to fight off colds.
How to Serve Lentil Dahl
I like to serve dahl over brown rice and topped with fresh cilantro but it’s also amazing on it’s own. It’s also delicious served over a big bowl of fresh spinach and veggies for a healthy protein-packed power bowl. It’s yummy with spinach, kale, carrots and cauliflower mixed in. If you like to can also add some chopped veggies in as it’s cooking.
It’s incredibly filling, high in fibre, high in protein and packed with vitamins. Plus this recipe tastes even better the next day, so if you take leftovers to work like me, you’re in for a real treat.
How to Make Lentil Dahl
The best thing about lentil dahl is it’s a breeze to make. All you need is one pot and about 30 minutes so it’s a very doable weeknight meal if you’re busy in the evenings.
After chopping up your onions and garlic, toss everything in the pot and simmer until the lentils are soft and the dahl is thick. You can use either water or vegetable stock for the liquid, I’ve used both with good results but the vegetable stock adds extra flavour. You can keep this in the fridge for up to 5 days or so, the flavours only get better with time. It can also be frozen and de-thawed as needed.
It’s easy, comforting, healthy, filling, high in fiber and plant-based protein…give it a try!
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 small yellow onions (625 g), diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled, minced
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups (375 g) red lentils, uncooked
- 1 can coconut milk (regular or light)
- 3 cups water or vegetable stock
- fresh cilantro for serving
- Cook the onions, ginger and garlic in the coconut oil for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until soft.
- Add the spices, coconut milk, lentils and water or vegetable stock.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until lentils are soft and it's thickened up.
- Remove from heat and serve topped with fresh cilantro over brown rice, quinoa, or on it's own.