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Coconut dahl

Tamara Willner
Written by

Tamara Willner

Reviewed by dietitian

Fiona Moncrieff

1 min read
Last updated June 2024

This is a simple and wholesome dish. You can also use red lentils or split peas and vary the spices to your taste. Serve it with Indian raita or natural yoghurt.

Recipe: Coconut dahl

Prep and cooking time: 40 mins – 1 hour

Serves: 4


  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
  • 2cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1⁄4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 200g red lentils or split peas
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 1 large handful baby spinach
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Fry the onion, garlic, and ginger, until softened.
  2. Stir in the spices and fry until lightly browned.
  3. Stir in the lentils or split peas, and a pinch of black pepper.
  4. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-25mins. If using split peas, add an extra 125ml water and cook for a further 15-20mins.
  5. The lentils or split peas should be soft and cooked through. Add in the spinach leaves and stir the dahl.
  6. Serve with coriander.

Second Nature Special Tip:

Try adding a grated courgette with the spinach to bulk out the dahl and make it extra creamy.

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Write a response

Katy Baillie

6 June, 2023

Made this last week using yellow split peas, and it was really tasty – the whole family enjoyed it, teenagers and adults. I found it took a bit longer to cook than suggested, but didn’t need the extra water. Served it with brown basmati.


27 April, 2022

made this and its really nice, but what can we have with it as dividing the recipe by 4 is not a big portion? or maybe portion control is my problem! but i still felt hungry after eating it.

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