A quick & easy Red Lentil Dahl that is as soul warming as it is delicious. It’s super creamy thanks to the melty red lentils & rich coconut milk. Perfect served over rice for an easy meal!
Hello creamy soft lentils bathed in coconut milk and spices ❤️
So incredibly yummy, and when the nights start drawing in and temperatures begin to drop, it’s nice to have some good ol’ comfort food recipes on standby. And it doesn’t get any more cozy and comforting than this warming and super easy to make, Creamy Red Lentil Dahl.
Something totally magical happens when you combine the lentils, spices, tomatoes and coconut milk, then simmer them all together. It doesn’t take long at all for it to turn into a thick, creamy delicious smelling pot of goodness.
Watch my video to see exactly what I mean!
You guys, this is perfect for when you want something fresh, healthy and yummy on the table pretty fast. It’s lovely paired with fluffy rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice, with some naan bread or poppadoms (of course!) and I highly recommend you make some of the Lime Slaw from my Enchilada Lentil Tacos recipe as a side because the Dahl and Slaw combo is just A-mazing, both in flavour and texture.
Not mandatory at all, but a sprinkling of cilantro, some fresh chopped tomato and a few chopped peanuts or cashews over the top (like in my pics), really takes it from mid-week dinner to restaurant kind of quality appearance. Perfect if you are wanting to impress someone or just treat yourself to some prettiness!
This Red Lentil Dahl is lots of things: creamy, gently spicy (although you could make it more so), full of protein, very filling, pretty budget friendly assuming you have a supply of spices in your pantry already and the leftovers are even better than the main event. The flavours really develop in the fridge over a couple of days which means you can really look forward to tucking into the leftovers.
My husband is pretty hard to please in the vegan food department and he is LOVING this meal! We have been eating it on repeat which I am perfectly OK with as I love it too. Plus I can make a mahoosive pot of it and it lasts us for days and days. I say that’s a win! 🙌
GOT AN INSTANT POT?
If you have an Instant Pot and want to make this recipe, hop on over to my Instant Pot Lentil Dal. It’s been adapted very slightly so that it works perfectly and it is just as delish!
Save this recipe, memorize it, pin it, or whatever you need to, but be sure to make it soon because it is super-duper yummy and you will love it!
Creamy Red Lentil Dahl
- 1 large onion , chopped finely
- 4 large garlic cloves , chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger , finely chopped or grated
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes , add up to a teaspoon extra if you like it a spicy. You can use 1 fresh small red chili if you prefer
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 slightly heaping teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds , see recipe notes for substitution
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds , see recipe notes for substitution
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander , see recipe notes for substitution
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper , add more to taste if necessary at the end
- 2 teaspoons salt , add more to taste if necessary at the end
- 400g / 2 cups red lentils , dried. No need to soak
- 3 large tomatoes , chopped into small chunks
- 1 can / 400 mls / a little under 1¾ cup coconut milk , full fat or light
- 840mls / 3½ cups water , plus a 3 - 4 tablespoons for sautéing the onion and garlic
- Add 3 tablespoons of water (or 1 tablespoon of oil if you prefer) to a large pan and place over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 - 10 minutes until translucent. Stir frequently and add a drop or two of water as you need to to stop them sticking.
- Add the chopped garlic & ginger to the pan and cook for about 1 minute longer.
- Add the chili and spices and cook them out for a minute or two then add the lentils. Toast the lentils gently for a few minutes, stirring frequently to stop them sticking.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, water and coconut milk, stir well and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Turn down to medium low, and continue to simmer for around another 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the lentils are breaking down and the sauce is nice and thick.