Main image of Comforting Coconut Red Lentil Daal

Comforting Coconut Red Lentil Daal

37 min



One of the things to love most about daal is the aromatic mixture of spices. Add some garam masala instead of cumin, or some chili powder instead of paprika powder, and you've got a totally new flavour profile. But no matter what spices are used, daal is always warm, inviting and incredibly delicious.



37 min


10 min


27 min

Free from

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  • 1 tsp (5 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • 1
    medium onion, chopped
  • 3
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 1
    medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (6 g)
    fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp (4 g)
    curry powder
  • 1 tsp (3 g)
    ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (3 g)
    ground cumin
  • ½ tsp
    paprika powder
  • 1 pinch
    salt, to taste
  • 2 cups (384 g)
    dry red lentils, rinsed, soaked for 2 hours
  • 2 cups (480 mL)
  • 1
    vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1⅔ cups (399 mL)
    canned full-fat coconut milk


  • 1½ cups (300 g)
    uncooked basmati rice, rinsed, soaked for 2 hours*
  • 2¼ cups (540 mL)
  • 6
    cardamom pods, cracked

Optional garnish

  • fresh cilantro
  • unsweetened coconut yogurt
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  1. Add the oil, onion and garlic to a large pot on high heat. Sauté for 4 minutes, adding splashes of water as needed to deglaze the pot.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrot and grated ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Then add all of the spices. Stir 30 - 60 seconds, stirring throughout, to toast the spices.
  4. Add the drained lentils, water, vegetable bouillon cube, and coconut milk.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer with the lid partially covered, stirring on occasion until the lentils are fully cooked, about 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. Drain the soaked rice and add it to a medium pot. Add the water and the cardamom pods, bring to a boil and reduce to a medium-low with the lid partially covered until cooked, about 15 minutes. When cooked, remove from the heat and fully cover with a lid until ready to serve.
  7. Serve the rice alongside the daal and garnish. Enjoy!


  • * If you did not soak the rice, you may need to add more water.


  • Store the daal in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Let us know what you think

Plate method

The Plate Method is a visual tool that helps us ensure our dietary needs are on track. Touch the image below to see how this recipe measures up.

Grains 42%

uncooked basmati rice

Proteins 46%

dry red lentils

Fruits & Veggies 12%

medium onion

clove garlic

medium carrot

fresh ginger

No significant sources of calcium

vegetable oil

canned full-fat coconut milk

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

Rate this post

Sjak - Nov. 28, 2021, 5:10 p.m.

lovely meal and one of our starter meal to reduce our meat-eating.
We do not miss it at all.

PUL Team - Nov. 28, 2021, 11:29 p.m.

So glad it's being enjoyed, Sjak!

Leïla - Oct. 5, 2021, 8:20 p.m.

This has been a go-to recipe for many months for my boyfriend and me. Love how it tastes and how it doesn't require much time or work!

PUL Team - Oct. 6, 2021, 3:53 a.m.

We appreciate this so much, Leïla, and so happy you and your boyfriend are enjoying it ☺️

Emily - Sept. 11, 2021, 6:34 p.m.

I am so blown away at how easy and delicious this is! One of my friends posted this recipe on IG and I had to try it. Thank you for making vegan cooking easy, delicious and healthy! Wow!

PUL Team - Sept. 12, 2021, 4:53 a.m.

We're so thrilled the daal was enjoyed, Emily, thank you!

Adri - Sept. 1, 2021, 8:06 p.m.

This recipe taste so good that even my non-veggie husband forgot that it didn't had any meat & ask me to do it again !!! (and this doesn't happen very often) Thanks PUL team!!

Leine - Aug. 27, 2021, 2:39 a.m.

Thank you so much for this incredible recipe!! I don't typically leave reviews, but this was too good. I have two particularly picky under-10s and to my pleasant surprise, they both loved it! I was able to use green/brown lentils and cooked them for slightly less time, I went a little light on paprika and heavy on cumin, and garnished with lime, chopped kale, cashew pieces, and a little extra drizzle of coconut milk (I personally love extra coconut-y flavors, but not everyone in our family does). Instead of using basmati, I reheated previously cooked jasmine rice with a little coconut milk to rehydrate it and that worked well. Definitely making again!

PUL Team - Aug. 28, 2021, 10:54 p.m.

We appreciate this so much, Leine! Thank you for sharing your experience with this one - it means so much 😍

Heather - Aug. 21, 2021, 12:31 a.m.

I can’t wait to try this! Is there any way to substitute coconut milk for something a little more slim lol 😬😄

Susan - Aug. 19, 2021, 12:05 a.m.

An easy and delicious recipe for dal. Makes great leftovers. I enjoyed it with chili peppers for garnish. After making this recipe I started adding cardamom pods to basmati rice when I make other Indian-inspired recipes as well!

PUL Team - Aug. 19, 2021, 8:18 p.m.

So glad you're enjoying the recipe, Susan, thank you 🤗

Orianne - Aug. 4, 2021, 3:47 p.m.

This is one of my favourite recipes. I cooked it many times. Its great benefit is that it freezes very well, perfect for meal prepping :)

Emily - July 27, 2021, 10:29 a.m.

This is definitely one of my favourite dhal recipes out there. I didn't have ginger on hand so I left it out, but I can only imagine how even more warming the dish is with it. It is truly comfort food. I generally don't like food smells in my home, but dhal is the exception. It just smells so nice and warm, like a delicious hug. Excellent for meal prep - my master thesis writing brain will appreciate it in the days to come.

PUL Team - July 28, 2021, 9:06 p.m.

Mmm we love the smell of this one too! Thank you and all the best with your thesis, Emily! ✨📚

Tess - July 26, 2021, 4:23 a.m.

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes! I love adding addition veggies (peas and/or spinach especially) and it is wonderful for meal prep. I do tend to be a little heavy handed with the spices. This recipe also goes great with naan.

PUL Team - July 27, 2021, 6:45 p.m.

We're so honoured to hear, Tess! Love the addition of extra veggies ☺️

Hannah - July 24, 2021, 9:59 p.m.

I have made this countless times. So so good and easy to make!

Devan - July 24, 2021, 9:58 p.m.

This is one of many PUL recipes that is a weekly staple for me. I include whatever veggies I need to use up, and it's always amazing and so easy to pull together. I usually make the naan recipe to go with it and it feels like decadent restaurant food right out of my own kitchen. My husband and I enjoy so many of your recipes, we talk about PUL all the time! The new website is beautiful and I LOVE the scaling feature - I usually halve this recipe and it's perfect for two with just the right amount of leftovers. Thank you Sadia and your team, for this beautiful and welcoming food community you have created! xo

PUL Team - July 26, 2021, 8:24 p.m.

Aww, Devan, you are much too kind! Thank YOU for being here. We're so grateful to have you in the PUL community 💖

Chloe Le Breton - July 24, 2021, 6:28 p.m.

My favourite daal recipe EVER! I’ve taught it to my fiancé too & he makes it perfectly! This is definitely his favourite home-cooked meal that we make <3

Jeralyn - July 24, 2021, 6:20 p.m.

I’ll be honest, I had never even had lentils before trying this recipe… now, it’s a go-to recipe in our house! Vibrant flavors, easy to make, reheats perfectly (great for meal prep), and I’ve thrown in any and all veggies I’ve had left over in my fridge and it’s ALL perfect with this!

PUL Team - July 25, 2021, 11:48 p.m.

Ahh so incredible, Jeralyn, thank you! It means so much to hear this ✨

ash - July 23, 2021, 3:40 a.m.

I've made this recipe more times than I can count, and it's just as easy and delicious every time. It keeps me feeling full and makes for great leftovers.

A few changes I've made:
1) I'll usually double or triple the amount of carrots. I've also tried throwing in a number of different veggies as well--peas, sweet potatoes, spinach--and it's delicious every time.
2) I prefer standard brown lentils in this over the red. Both taste similar, but I find that brown/green lentils offer more of a texture variation from the rice (though the resulting green-brown stew certainly isn't as pretty).
3) I just use two cups vegetable broth instead of the water + bouillon cube. And when I'm in a pinch, subbing ground ginger for fresh and brown rice for basmati has worked just fine.

Long story short, it's hard to mess this one up. Highly recommend!

PUL Team - July 25, 2021, 2:50 a.m.

Thanks a bunch for sharing your experience with the recipe, Ash! It's so appreciated ✨

Cris S - July 17, 2021, 8:10 a.m.

This one tastes like India in a bowl with that divine combination of aromas! It makes for an excelled make-ahead meal for about 3-4 days.

Adineh - July 8, 2021, 7:45 p.m.

I have been making this dish for two years. Still my favourite! Thank you:)

Clarissa - June 15, 2021, 5:45 a.m.

I've never tried daal before, but this recipe was so delicious! It's so comforting, and I love how all the spices melded well with the coconut milk!

PUL Team - June 15, 2021, 3:41 p.m.

We love that you're trying new recipes, Clarissa! Thank you for sharing 🤩

Brooke - May 21, 2021, 1:32 a.m.

This is a recipe I keep coming back to make over and over. It uses ingredients I typically already have on hand and it so delicious! Comes together very quickly I definitely recommend!

PUL Team - May 22, 2021, 9:35 p.m.

We love to hear this, Brooke, thanks a bunch for the wonderful review! 🥰

Fauzia - April 13, 2021, 2:06 a.m.

Hi Sadia,
We are planning to make this yummy sounding and looking dish, but I have one question. Where do you get your boillon cubes?
The ones I know of have lots of additives.
Thank you so much.

PUL Team - April 14, 2021, 2:11 a.m.

Hello Fauzia! The ones used in the PUL kitchen are generally from a local store called Albert Heijn, the brand is Maggi. We hope you enjoy the daal :)

Joey - March 22, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

Delicious recipe! The full-fat coconut milk makes this dish so creamy, I love it.

PUL Team - April 2, 2021, 1:44 a.m.

So glad you enjoyed it, Joey 😀

Riette - March 22, 2021, 8:37 a.m.

WOW I am blown away by your new website. This must be the best recipe website around.
I'm putting this recipe on my menu list for the week and cannot wait to try it.

Sadia - March 29, 2021, 4:11 p.m.

Aw thanks so much, Riette - that means so much! 🤗