Coconut Red Lentil Dahl

Coconut Red Lentil Dahl

You know those days when you’re exhausted and hungry but need leftovers for work or school the next day? This recipe is perfect for those situations. It’s filling, cheap to make, and easy! I’ve made a recipe relatively similar to this one before, but this is more of a curry, thicker compared to the soup.

I love recipes that are easy to freeze or just as quick to make two serves as is it to make six! I always have rice and split red lentils in my pantry, so the meal is pretty much always accessible.

I find that having certain ingredients in your fridge and pantry will save you when you’re stuck for meal ideas. If you want some extra flavours and textures, you can always make this recipe with red capsicum or pumpkin.

I’ve called this a coconut red lentil dahl because I feel that it’s not quite a curry and it has a base of lentils it fitted to call it more a dahl.  Just a heads up that the coconut isn’t super strong, but more of a subtle but noticeable flavour. If you’re not used to coconut flavours, then you will taste it more than others.

You can definitely add this one to your bulk cooking rotation for the week or freeze portions for another day.

Coconut Red Lentil Dahl
Rate this recipe
73 ratings

Serving Size: 5-7


  • 2.5 cups basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 red or brown onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cups split red lentils (soaked for about an hour and washed)
  • 1 can coconut milk (400ml, 13.5 fl oz)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • Salt
  • Handful coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear. Place in 5 cups of water and cook semi covered on high until it starts to boil. Lower heat to low-medium and cook for 15 minutes or until all water has evaporated and rice is cooked. Cover and leave aside.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil, onion and ginger on medium heat until the onion softens and starts to slowly brown.
  3. Add in the tomato and simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in the lentils, coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Simmer on medium heat and stir occasionally, keeping the lid half on. Add in another cup of water when the lentils have soaked up the liquid.
  5. Cook until all the lentils have turned yellow, have softened and cooked through, this will take around 15-20 minutes. You may need to add some more water if it's getting too dry. Remember that it will thicken and soak up the rest of the water once cooked.
  6. Season to taste and stir in the coriander at the end.
  7. Serve with the cooked rice.

Interested in more recipes?

Want to get inspired each week with a new vegan recipe using everyday ingredients? Click on the link below to get them straight to your inbox!

  • Oh yum, this sounds delicious! I haven’t made a red lentil curry for ages, and this just reminds me that I’ve gotta get back into it!

  • Kristy 16/01/2017 Reply

    Do you mean “coriander” or “cilantro”. I want to try this recipe today but don’t want to get it wrong because I’m serving it to other people.

  • Ruby 05/03/2017 Reply

    Hi, how many servings would you say this is?

    • Hi Ruby,
      So sorry, I only am getting back to you now. This makes a big batch. 5-7 serves, depending on portion size.

  • Lena 02/06/2018 Reply

    I was concerned to try this with all the typos and errors but it turned out ok with a few changes.
    I used 3 not 4 cups of lentils
    Tinned toms not fresh for extra liquid
    Used the stalks of the coriander/celantro in the initial cooking
    Added mustard seeds to the onion fry
    Cooked for additional 30 mins
    Added spinach wilted at the end

    Overall delish

    • Sorry Lena, for some reason I had accidentally uploaded the draft, not the final version! Apologies, I’m glad to see that you still made it work 🙂

    • M 06/04/2019 Reply

      No need to be so rude Lena!

  • Laura 13/09/2018 Reply

    Hi, how many portions does this make please?

  • Cindy 23/01/2019 Reply

    Please advise I cannot have nightshades (such as tomatoes) can something else be used? Thank you

    • Hi Cindy, I would just leave them out. The only other thing that I would suggest is red capsicum but that is also a nightshade.

  • Marisa 20/08/2019 Reply

    Total dankness!!!!! Even my boyfriend loved it. Thank you!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.