Comforting Coconut Red Lentil Daal

There's something about lentil dishes that feels so comforting and filling. One of my favourite, go-to recipes is this simple daal, because it can be whipped together in 30 minutes or less.

One of the things I love most about daal is the aromatic mixture of spices, and no two daals I ever make taste the same. If you add some garam masala instead of cumin, or some chili powder instead of paprika powder, you've got a totally new flavour profile. Same thing goes with the veggies I add in: sometimes it's carrots, sometimes cauliflower, sometimes peas... and this versatility is what brings me back to this dish each time. Here at PUL, we enjoy it at least a couple times a month.

One thing I find with most curries is that they taste even better the day or days after because the spices and other ingredients have a chance to meld, so...

Pro tip: batch make this here recipe to enjoy for at least a couple days, and freeze any extras to enjoy with some naan on days when you don't have time to cook dinner from scratch!

Another plus to this recipe? Lentils are protein packed! In addition to being loaded with fibre, which helps to keep us full and satiated for longer. Don't like white rice? No worries, serve it up with naan, brown rice or quinoa instead. Or seriously... a lot of the time I just enjoy it on its own like a bowl of soup. Like I said: love me some daal.



Comforting Coconut Red Lentil Daal

Recipe PDF

▸ ▹ Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free

Yield: approx. 6 servings Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 20 min Total Time: 30 min


1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot, chopped

1 Tbsp (6 g) grated fresh ginger

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika powder

Salt to taste

2 cups (400 g) red lentils, rinsed, soaked 2 hours

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 can (400 mL) unsweetened full fat coconut milk

2 cups (200 g) basmati rice, rinsed, soaked 2 hours

7 cardamom pods, broken in half (optional)

INGREDIENTS: Optional Garnish

Fresh cilantro

Fresh chili, thinly sliced

Coconut yogurt or coconut cream


  1. Add oil, onion and garlic to a large pot on high heat. Sauté for 4 minutes, adding a splash of water as needed to deglaze the pan.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the grated ginger and carrot and stir for another couple minutes before adding all the spices. Stir for another couple minutes, letting the spices become aromatic, as they dry roast, and add a splash of water if needed so it doesn’t burn.

  3. Add the drained lentils, 2 cups (500 mL) of water, a crushed vegetable bouillon cube and the coconut milk. Bring to a bowl, then reduce to a simmer with the lid partially covered, stirring on occasion until the lentils are fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes.

  4. Drain the soaked rice and add to a pot. Add 3 cups (750 mL)* water and the cardamom pods, bring to a boil and reduce to a medium-low with the lid partially covered until cooked, about 15 minute.

  5. Serve the rice alongside the daal and garnish. Enjoy!


  1. *If you did not soak the rice, you may need add about 1/2 cup (125 mL) more water.

  2. Variations: add other veggies of your choice such as cauliflower or potato, or you can add some cooked or frozen peas as well.

  3. Speed-it-up: by soaking the rice and lentils in advance!

  4. Storage: store the daal in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to fours days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.