Creamy Red Lentil Dhal

Creamy Red Lentil Dhal Overview

This Creamy Red Lentil Dhal is a perfect comforting meal that’s very straightforward to prepare and is so filling in the result.

Going vegan helped me to discover so many hidden from me cuisines, and Indian is probably the most incredible one so far. So many newly discovered flavors and spices add such a fresh new vibe to the whole cooking process.

The name dhal (or daal, dal, dahl) itself stands for dried legume, such as lentils or peas or other edible seed that is hulled and split. So why don’t we dive into the abundant Indian cuisine together while cooking this amazing dhal dish?

The main ingredients we would need are very accessible. They include lentils, coconut milk, canned tomatoes in tomato juice, and, of course, spices! The last ones are so versatile, so rich. Even the lack of one and the presence of another spice can make a significant difference in final meal taste.

In addition to being so filling and flavorful, Creamy Red Lentil Dhal is very nutritious, being rich in iron and protein. Adding some spinach while cooking your dhal will boost iron content even higher. (1 cup of cooked spinach carries over 6 mg of iron, that is over a third of daily value needed). Spinach also contributes to your vitamin C intake, which helps with iron absorption.

When cooking your dhal, keep in mind the recipe features a medium spiciness level. Try varying amounts of chili flakes to keep spiciness on the desired level. Serve while still hot with rice or garnish of your choice.

Creamy Red Lentil Dahl served with rice

How to Serve Creamy Red Lentil Dhal

You may serve this Creamy Red Lentil Dhal on its own or with a garnish of choice. E.g.  rice or vegan naan bread would be classic sides. Consider switching for more wholesome sides like wild or brown rice. Also adding a portion of your favorite greens on the side would be a bonus for a more nutritious meal.

Creamy Red Lentil Dahl

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6


  • 1 tbsp olive/coconut oil
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 40 g fresh ginger grated
  • 1 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of half lemon
  • spinach (fresh or frozen)


  • In a cooking pot or pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook onions for 5 minutes, until softened. 
  • Add garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Fry for couple of minutes.
  • Crush coriander, mustard ad cumin seeds. Add to the pan together with garam masala and turmeric. Let cook for a minute.
  • Add coconut milk, vegetable stock (or water and vegetable bouillon cube), canned diced tomatoes and rinsed lentils, salt and pepper. Let cook for 15-20 minutes with covered lid until lentils are soft.  
  • Add spinach and lemon juice, cook for another couple of minutes. Take off the heat. 
  • Serve with rice and fresh parsley on top (or any other garnish of your choice).

Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition facts below consider a portion of Red Lentil Dhal without garnish:

Join our foodiez community

Subscribe today for healthy recipes, guides and motivation!