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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tree nut

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  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • 1
    medium onion, chopped
  • 3
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 1
    carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (6 g)
    freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp (4 g)
    curry powder
  • 1 tsp (3 g)
    ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (2 g)
    ground cumin
  • ½ tsp
    paprika powder
  • 1 pinch
    salt, to taste
  • 2 cups (384 g)
    dry red lentils, soaked for 2 hours, drained
  • 2 cups (480 mL)
  • 1
    vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1⅔ cups (399 mL)
    canned full-fat coconut milk


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

Optional garnish

  • fresh cilantro
  • unsweetened coconut yogurt


  1. Add the oil, onion, and garlic to a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the carrot and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Then add all of the spices. Stir for 30 - 60 seconds to toast the spices.
  4. Then add the lentils, water, and bouillon. Cover, and cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, add the rice, water, and cardamom to a medium pot. Simmer covered for 13 minutes until cooked. Then remove from the heat and cover with a lid until ready to serve.
  6. Add the coconut milk and cook until heated through.
  7. Serve the rice alongside the daal. Garnish as desired. 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 & Starches 42%

uncooked basmati rice

Proteins 46%

dry red lentils

Fruits & Veggies 12%

medium onion

clove garlic


freshly grated 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

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Sarah - May 14, 2023, 4:30 p.m.

I love this red lentil daal! It's delicious, super easy to make, and works well for meal prepping. Sometimes I throw in extra vegetables, or a bit of hot sauce, and it always comes out tasty! ☺️

PUL Team - May 15, 2023, 7:16 a.m.

Love the modifications, Sarah, thank you!

PUL Team - May 15, 2023, 7:16 a.m.

Love the modifications, Sarah, thank you!

Moni - May 12, 2023, 1:20 p.m.

Ma'am i have a confusion.... In the above nutrition chart, does the fat from vegetable oil and coconut milk comes under the category of just the saturated fat or the overall (total) fat?
Also ma'am it would be very convenient if u could provide a weekly meal plan as a guideline so that i could form an idea about how to plan my meals in future

PUL Team - May 12, 2023, 9:06 p.m.

Hey Moni, the fat from vegetable oil and coconut milk goes under both 🙂 Total fat includes all types of fat, including saturated fats, omega-3 fat, and more. We talk about different types of fat in our article on fats and oils if it's helpful:…. Thank you for your interest in meal plans too! Our iOS app is just in beta-testing which will have meal plan ideas so stay tuned for that! Hopefully, we can share it on Android soon too 🤗

Moni - May 13, 2023, 7:50 a.m.

Thanks a lot<3

Nikko - April 25, 2023, 11:13 p.m.

Super delicious! I topped it with some cashews and it's so flavorful and comforting

Eszter - April 1, 2023, 5:54 p.m.

We paired the daal with ugali and some steamed kale on the side.

Julia - March 17, 2023, 2:46 p.m.

This is one of my go to dishes during the cold winter time in Wisconsin! I love how good it makes me feel inside and out to eat this Daal.

PUL Team - March 18, 2023, 3:09 a.m.

So glad the recipe is being enjoyed, Julia, and sending warm wishes to Wisconsin ☀️

Leslie - March 13, 2023, 12:33 a.m.

Just made this for the first time. Absolutely delicious! Will definitely be adding this to my rotation. Thanks, PUL Team!

PUL Team - March 13, 2023, 6:01 a.m.

So happy to hear, Leslie, thank you 🙂

Magda and Yu-Pei - March 11, 2023, 6:29 p.m.

Amazing best food thank you

ABC - March 10, 2023, 5:16 p.m.

So delicious! Simple and flavorful. We added peas and spinach and paired it with cardamom brown rice instead...highly recommend! :)

Lee - March 7, 2023, 7:31 a.m.

Yummy. Even my Mum liked it, and she doesn’t like this type of food.
I also added silverbeet at the end, and lime juice.

PUL Team - March 8, 2023, 5:48 p.m.

Thanks for sharing your experience with it, Lee!

Veerle - Feb. 13, 2023, 11:30 a.m.

This recipe has become a staple! I also like to add in some spinach at the end for a pop of colour and some extra nutrients :)
+ goes great with your naan recipe 🫓

PUL Team - Feb. 13, 2023, 7:01 p.m.

Mmm lovely additions! Thank you, Veerle 😃

Emily - Jan. 8, 2023, 1:19 a.m.

This is a staple for me. Inexpensive to make, and absolutely delicious! ☺️

Alice - Nov. 16, 2022, 3:24 p.m.

Love this recipe ❤️

Marilena - Nov. 2, 2022, 12:13 p.m.

Great one!!

Adrienn - July 18, 2022, 12:40 p.m.

Absolutely love this daal! I've made it with different vegetables, different combo of vegetables and it is always amazing.

PUL Team - July 18, 2022, 5:54 p.m.

Hey there, Adrienn, we're so glad it's being enjoyed with different veggies 🤗

Sophie - July 15, 2022, 4:17 a.m.

I am trying to incorporate more plant based meals into my family's diet so I made this today and tossed in cubes of firm tofu to it and it was amazing. I love that this is freezer friendly so that I can whip up a bunch for a quick and easy comforting healthy meal.

PUL Team - July 15, 2022, 4:35 a.m.

Oh we're so happy to hear, Sophie, and wishing you all the best on your journey with plant-based meals 🌱

Erica - June 9, 2022, 8:43 p.m.

This is now a staple dish in my family (who are not plant-based). Everyone loves it!

Elyse - June 7, 2022, 9:06 p.m.

LOVE this dish! So easy, comforting and delish. I swapped out the coconut milk for a little homemade cashew cream as I'm trying to keep saturated fats to a minimum. Unfortunately, I just started the low-FODMAP diet, so lentils are off the menu, but I really hope to make/have this dish again in the future!

PUL Team - June 8, 2022, 3:15 a.m.

Thank you for taking the time to share, Elyse, and wishing you an abundance of health and wellness 💛

Eva - June 1, 2022, 3:27 p.m.

Hello: If not using any bouillon cube or broth (I don't have), will it work well just with water? Thank you.

PUL Team - June 1, 2022, 9:23 p.m.

Hey there, Eva, yes you can use water. It will be less flavourful so you may want to give the curry a taste and add some salt or other spices as desired 🙂

Joanna - June 1, 2022, 12:11 a.m.

Delicious! Make it quite often. Super good portion for leftovers :)

Sofia - May 29, 2022, 5:20 p.m.

I just made this, and it's probably going to be my favourite daal recipe ever! It's delightfully warm and comforting and leaves a lot of room for modification (I added some leftover red bell pepper and zucchini, and it works fabulously). I'll definitely be making this again!

PUL Team - May 29, 2022, 6:12 p.m.

Oh such a massive compliment, Sofia, thank you! Love the addition of red bell pepper and zucchini as well 😍

Sue - April 24, 2022, 10:25 p.m.

We've made this recipe so much that it's a weekly staple in our house now. So delicious and super easy to make. Rinsing the lentils must be the hardest part 🙈🤣 Thank you for a delicious meal 😊

PUL Team - April 25, 2022, 5:01 a.m.

Awe we're so happy it's being enjoyed, Sue, thank you!

Patrycja - April 4, 2022, 9:50 a.m.

Hi! I love this recipe, thank you ;) I was wondering if it is a mistake to leave the rice soaking overnight? Sometimes it would make it easier for me. Or would it be better not to soak it at all in this case?

PUL Team - April 5, 2022, 5:23 a.m.

Hey Patrycja, you can soak the rice overnight if desired. The cooking time will be less in this case so just keep a closer eye on it :)

jess - March 27, 2022, 1:37 a.m.

It turns out bitter。

PUL Team - March 27, 2022, 3:29 a.m.

Hey Jess 😊 We’re sorry to hear the curry didn’t turn out as planned - it’s one of our favourites. Were the ingredients and portion sizes used as listed? If so, sometimes we find rancid spices give a bitter taste which is one thing that comes to mind. We’re happy to provide more insight if able though!

Kaili - March 17, 2022, 12:52 p.m.

Very yummy and easy to make! Added spinach in the end to up the amount of veggies in it :)

PUL Team - March 17, 2022, 5:39 p.m.

A delicious addition, Kaili, thank you 😊

kaylin - March 6, 2022, 8:11 p.m.

UNBELIEVABLE. I only ever order vegan lentil dishes at indian places and always wonder how they make it. Now I know!! I love it so much thank you for this recipe.

PUL Team - March 7, 2022, 6:22 a.m.

Woop woop! We're beyond thrilled the daal is being enjoyed, Kaylin 😊

Emma - March 3, 2022, 10:03 a.m.

Easy to make and really comforting! It was my first time making daal but definitly not the last.

PUL Team - March 4, 2022, 1:58 a.m.

Oh so lovely to hear, Emma, thank you!

Katie - Feb. 21, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

It was absolutely delicious and easy to make!

Áža - Feb. 3, 2022, 1:44 p.m.

So delucious! Absolutely love it. I'm not vegan, so I "unveganized" it (used cow milk instead of coconut) and it was still really tasty. I definitely recommend it!

Mirabelle - Jan. 23, 2022, 6:38 p.m.


Lana R. - Jan. 5, 2022, 2:22 a.m.

Oh my gahhhh fhsjfnsjfhejdn!!! Okay so a few things… haha; I burnt the garlic and onion because I forgot it was on high heat. I didn’t have any vegetable bouillon cubes or stock so I just left it out. And then I had the wrong canned coconut milk. Mine said “curry” on it… therefore it was pre-seasoned. I was afraid this whole recipe would be botched. But NO!!! Holy holy holy… even with all of that. This is so dang GOOD!!!!!! I feel like a culinary boss right now. I can’t wait to get it right next time!

PUL Team - Jan. 5, 2022, 3:24 a.m.

Awe we're so glad it was enjoyed, Lana! We love how flexible daal can be. You're totally a culinary boss 🤩

Gaby Ricklin - Dec. 3, 2021, 8:29 a.m.

great curry

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! 🤗