Creamy Coconut Daal

Inspired by Southern India, this quick and easy coconut daal is the ultimate mid-week meal. The lentils cook in spices and coconut milk until they go creamy, and then the whole thing is finished off with fresh lime and coriander. You can add a few handfuls of spinach or kale to wilt into the daal for a few minutes at the end, and I love to serve mine with brown rice, although anything you like goes.


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and crackle for a few seconds before adding the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until golden.
  2. Chuck the garlic and ginger into the pan and mix well. Cook, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Put the turmeric, chilli powder, lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk and a good pinch of salt into the pan. Pour in 150ml of just boiled water and mix well. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. If it looks a little dry, add another 50-100ml of water and mix well.
  4. To finish, add the lime juice and coriander to the daal. Mix well. Check the seasoning, adding more salt to taste and serve immediately with rice.


Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 inch ginger, finely sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
200g red lentils
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
The juice of a lime
A small handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
Rice to serve
Sea salt

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