This Coconut Dhal is so simple to make, very family friendly, and tastes absolutely amazing. It is less than £2.00 per person and is made in only one pot!
Recipe Difficulty – Very Easy
Why this recipe works
I absolutely love using butternut squash and coconut together, so I had the thought to try making a comforting vegan dhal. The end result was just incredible. It’s packed full of flavour and so perfectly comforting for a fall or winter dinner!
This Coconut Lentil Dhal, hailing from Sri Lanka, will soon become one of your favourite recipes and will quickly find a spot in your weekly meal rotation.
One of the many great things about this red lentil dhal is that it’s super cheap to make, costing only £1.50-£2.00 per portion! Plus, it’s all made in one pot, making cleanup a breeze!
This lentil daal works great for batch cooking as well! Whether freezing or not, I recommend you always make extras as it tastes even better for lunch the next day.
Ingredients to make Coconut Dhal
- Butternut Squash – forms a delicious base for this vegetable dhal.
- Oil – I use olive oil.
- Garlic Cloves – one of my go-to flavours – should be crushed.
- Red Onion – have a wonderfully sweet and mild onion flavour.
- Turmeric – is a very common curry flavour.
- Cayenne Pepper – adds a great heat to this dish.
- Paprika – is a sweet and mild addition.
- Chilli Flakes – give a little more heat.
- Ground Coriander – is a citrusy flavour common in curries.
- Fresh Red Chilli – should be deseeded and finely chopped.
- Fresh Lime Juice – adds a great splash of flavour.
- Red Split Lentil – is the primary ingredient in most daal.
- Coconut Milk – keeps this recipe vegan while still giving a great consistency.
- Vegetable Stock – helps to enhance the other flavours in this dish.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Butternut Squash – Sweet potato or pumpkin are both great replacements for butternut squash.
- Seasonings and Spices – Free free to adjust the spices and seasonings to your taste preferences.
- Garlic Cloves – While fresh is best, minced garlic or even garlic powder can still bring a good flavour.
- Red Split Lentil – Other colours of lentils, split peas, or beans are good substitutes in this dhal curry recipe.
- Spicy – Increase the spicy ingredients in this recipe to bring up the heat without changing the flavour profile much.
- Deluxe – Finish off with a squeeze of lime juice, fresh coriander, fresh chilli and some coconut flakes for a yummy and impressive dhal coconut curry.
- Kid friendly – If you need to bring the spice down for kids, take out or reduce the chili, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
How to make Coconut Dhal
Step 1: Peel, deseed, and chop the butternut squash into small cubes. Dice the red onion and fresh chilli.
Step 2: Heat a large pot on medium heat with oil, garlic, red onion, and salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Step 3: Add all of the spices, fresh chilli, and the lime juice and stir. Add the chopped butternut squash and fry for a couple of minutes.
Step 4: Add in the coconut milk, stock, and lentils. Make sure to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes.
Hint: Be aware of your own heat tolerance when spicing this dish.
You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze it down to have a healthy home-cooked meal when short on time.
Dhal is essentially a lentil soup with curry flavours. I use red lentils, butternut squash, creamy coconut milk, and a load of delicious seasonings and spices that make for an amazing dish! Dhal is famous in India, but using coconut milk makes it more of a Sri Lankan Dhal.
My very favourite thing to eat with this is my Gluten Free Naan Bread. You could also try serving wtih a nice spinach and tomato salad, rice, or some roasted aubergine.
It can be! Make sure the recipe you are using doesn’t use any dairy products and you should be good to go! I use a delicious coconut milk in mine.
Both are incredibly flavourful! They even have similar flavour profiles. The biggest difference is that dhal is more soupy and has lentils in it.
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- 1/2 large butternut squash (roughly 500g)
- 1 tablespoon oil (I use olive oil)
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch chilli flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 fresh red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
- 1/2 juice Fresh Lime
- 1 cup red split lentils 180g
- 1 can coconut milk
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- Peel, deseed and chop the butternut squash into small cubes along with dicing the red onion and fresh chilli.
- Heat a large pot on a medium heat with oil and add the crushed garlic, red onion with a pinch of salt & pepper and cook for a couple minutes.
- Add all the spices, fresh chilli along with the juice of 1/2 a lime and stir. Now add the chopped butternut squash and fry for a couple minutes.
- Add in the coconut milk, stock and lentils making sure to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes.
Please note that Nutrition information is a rough estimate