Simple and Delicious recipes

Red Lentil Dal – easy and rich in flavor

This Red Lentil Dal is the perfect simple & delicious dinner

Looking for a delicious and healthy vegetarian meal that’s easy to make? Look no further than this easy red lentil dal recipe! Made with red lentils, aromatic spices, and rich coconut cream, this flavorful Indian dish is a great option for busy weeknights.

It’s ready to eat in no time, and great for meal prep

This is one of the easiest recipes for a warm and cozy meal. And, it mostly relies on pantry staples, such as canned tomatoes, coconut cream, red lentils, and loads of spices. It’s ready to eat in 20 minutes, but it’s also great to make ahead for the week.

Spices are everything in this Red Lentil Dal

To make this easy red lentil dal, it’s important that you fry the spices as it will intensify the flavors. In addition, we recommend using thick coconut cream for a richer texture and flavor. We usually opt for one that’s about 90% coconut and not too watered down. Moreover, you can upgrade this easy red lentil dal with fresh spinach. Simply add it to the pot while your dal is cooking for even more fiber and nutrients.

Serve your dal on its own, with some sautéed veggies on the side (broccoli works really well!), or with our super doughy naan bread! Top with fresh cilantro and you’re set for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

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This recipe is perfect for anyone looking for a simple and delicious meal. It’s not only ready in no time, and great to make ahead, but also incorporates protein and fiber into your diet. We hope you’ll never get bored of this one!

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5 from 1 vote

Red Lentil Dal

This easy red lentil dal is rich in flavour and super easy to make, so what are you waiting for? It's not only extremely comforting, but also packed with nutrients. That's thanks to the spices, soft lentils and rich coconut cream that make this dish absolutely delightful. It comes together in 20 minutes and is perfect for lunch the next day, too. This easy red lentil dal is sure to become a new favorite recipe.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: easy red lentil dal
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kayou


  • 1 yellow onion (medium)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 piece ginger (about 1 cm)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 150 g red split lentils
  • 200 ml veggie broth (1 cube dissolved in 200ml water)
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • ½ can coconut cream (about 200ml)


  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala (or curry powder)
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground or seeds)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chili


  • Finely chop garlic, onion and ginger. Add to a large pot with some oil and fry until onions become translucent
  • Add paprika, turmeric, cumin and chili to the pot and fry the spices for about 5 minutes to intensify the flavors
  • Add veggie broth, rinsed red lentils and canned tomatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes (check your lentil package, but most split lentils will take 10-20 minutes to cook)
  • When lentils are soft, stir in coconut cream and 1-2 tbsp sugar to taste.
  • Top with fresh cilantro, coconut cream or yoghurt and serve with rice, our naan bread or sautéed veggies.

4 thoughts on “Red Lentil Dal – easy and rich in flavor

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious and super easy. I love the final touch of cilantro. I blended the coconut cream with a cup of the mixture and then added it to the pot. I forgot to add the sugar but love it all the same. Mine took longer to cook and I think next time I’ll use the instant pot. Thank you!

    1. Hi Giselle, so happy to hear you liked it! The cooking time can indeed vary depending on the lentils you find, a pressure cooker will definitely help. Just make sure it doesn’t overcook and gets too soft. xx Katja

  2. I love this recipe! I add a rough chopped gold potato. I always hear I should soak my lentils which I did but then it was like 3 cups of lentils and I needed more broth and then I wonder so I need more spice? Do you soak your lentils?

    1. Hi Deidre, thanks for your comment! We don’t soak the red lentils, but it may depend on the lentils you buy. The best is to follow the specific cooking instructions on your lentil package. The quantities in this recipe are for the dried lentils. We hope this helps!

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Made with love by Katja & Youssef | 2023