The Perfect Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk



In the world of culinary delights, few dishes can match the comfort and flavour of a well-prepared Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk. This delightful vegetarian dish hails from the heart of Indian cuisine, and its rich history is as enticing as its taste. In this article, we will delve into the savoury world of Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk, exploring its origins, ingredients, nutritional benefits, and the delightful experience it offers to your taste buds.

A Taste of Tradition: The Origins

Hailing from the Indian Subcontinent

Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk, often simply referred to as “Dhal,” originates from the Indian subcontinent. It’s a beloved staple in the cuisines of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Dhal’s history dates back thousands of years, making it an integral part of the region’s culinary heritage.

The Ingredients That Make Magic

red lentil dhal with coconut milk

Red Lentils: The Heart of the Dish

Red lentils are the star of the show in this delectable dish. These lentils are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making them a healthy addition to your diet. They cook quickly, making them a convenient choice for busy home cooks.

Creamy Coconut Milk

The creamy texture of coconut milk is a defining feature of this dish. It not only adds a delightful richness but also balances the spices and heat, creating a harmonious flavor profile.

Spices Galore

Dhal is known for its aromatic spices. From cumin and coriander to turmeric and garam masala, these spices come together to create a symphony of flavours that dance on your palate.

The Nutritional Benefits


Red lentils are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, making Dhal an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to meet their protein needs.

Fiber for Digestive Health

The high fiber content in red lentils aids in digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness, making it a satisfying meal option.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Dhal is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, and potassium, which contribute to overall health and vitality.

How to Make Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk

A Simple Recipe

Making Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk may sound complex, but it’s surprisingly simple.

Wash the lentils couple of time. Until the water stay clean while washing. Drain all the water using a strainer or colander with small eyes, make sure lentils doesn’t get pass through. Then transfer the lentils into a cooking pan.

Dhal curry

Then add turmeric powder: This will give your curry a nice yellowish colour and the flavour. Do not add too much.

Add chili powder: This can be adjust to your taste, add bit more if you like your curry to be spicy.

Add salt: to your taste.

Finally add water: and mix all together, cover it up and cook for until water reduce to 3/4 of the pan.

Once water is reduced, sliced some tomatoes and add to the dhal and mix. Then add the coconut milk. You can make the coconut milk from the fresh coconut or can buy canned coconut milk or coconut milk powder from the super market. I usually buy coconut milk powder and add hot water gradually to get the right thickness of the milk. Lastly add raw curry powder ( this is a mixture of coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom, fenugreek and turmeric ) and mix all together.

Close the lid and cook for about a minute and transfer the dhal into a another bowl and set aside.

Tempering the spices:

For the same pan, add olive oil and heat up. Break some dried chili and add to the oil, ( this is optional, but it gives your curry that extra flavour and little bit of spiciness.)

Now add the sliced onion, green chili, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and salt to taste. Start temper them until onion has change the colour to light brown.

red lentil dhal curry with coconut milk

Finally add the dhal into the pan and mix gently and cook for about a minute. Take some dhal out of the pan and check squeezing the dhal from your finger to see it’s been cooked. if not cook little bit more. Don’t over cook, then it will be a soup instead of a curry. 🙂

Dhal Curry

Customisation Options

One of the beauties of this dish is its versatility. You can customise it to suit your taste by adjusting the level of spiciness or experimenting with additional ingredients like spinach or chickpea.

Step by Step Recipe On How To Make Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk

Red Lentil Dhal With Coconut Milk

This aromatic and hearty dish combines red lentils with a creamy coconut milk base, creating a comforting and nourishing meal that's both easy to make and incredibly delicious.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 400 g Red Lentils [ Dhal ]
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Chili powder
  • tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 4-5 Cherry Tomato
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Raw Curry Powder mix of Coriander, Cumin, Black pepper,
  • ½ Onion sliced
  • 2-3 Green Chili cut into small
  • 2-3 clove Garlic chopped
  • 30 gram Ginger chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Dried Chili
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp Mustard


  • Wash the red lentiles couple of time with clean water.
  • Drain the water and transfer that in to a cooking pan.
  • Add turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and water. Mix them well and set medium heat, close the lid and cook until water reduce to ¾ the pan.
  • Add sliced tomatoes and coconut milk. Mix it well and add raw curry powder and mix again. Close the lid and cook for about a minute and set aside.
  • To the same pan, add olive oil and heat up. Brake dried chili into half and put them in. Add cumin and mustard to the oil.
  • Add onion, green chili, garlic, ginger, salt and curry leaves to the pan and tempre them until onion change colour to light brown.
  • Add the dhal in to the pan and gentley mix. Check the dhal, if it's cooked take them off. if not, cook bit more.


Calories: 198kcal
Cost: £3
Course: Side Dish, Vegetarian
Cuisine: Asian, Sri lankan
Keyword: Dhal Curry, Red Lentil Dhal With Coconut Milk
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The Dhal Experience

A Burst of Flavors

One spoonful of Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk delivers a burst of flavours. The creamy coconut milk balances the spices, creating a taste that’s simultaneously comforting and exciting.

Perfect for All Seasons

Whether it’s a chilly winter evening or a scorching summer day, Dhal is a dish that can be enjoyed year-round. Its comforting warmth in the winter and light, fragrant appeal in the summer make it a favorite.

Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk is a culinary masterpiece that offers not only a burst of flavours but also a host of nutritional benefits. Its rich history, diverse ingredients, and ease of preparation make it a delightful addition to any dining table.

So why wait? Experience the magic of Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk today and treat your taste buds to an unforgettable journey!


1. Can I use other types of lentils in place of red lentils?

Absolutely! While red lentils are traditional, you can experiment with other lentil varieties to create unique flavors and textures.

2. Is Dhal suitable for a vegan diet?

Yes, Red Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk is a perfect choice for vegans as it contains no animal products.

3. How spicy is Dhal?

The level of spiciness in Dhal can be adjusted to your preference. You have control over the heat, so you can make it as mild or spicy as you like.

4. Are there any variations of Dhal I should try?

Certainly! Dhal recipes vary across regions and households. Explore different recipes to find your favourite variation. Learn more about Dhal

5. Can I make a lot and freeze it?

Yes, Dhal freezes well. You can make a big batch and store it for later, making it a convenient meal option.

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