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Overhead shot of a hand taking a scoop of lentil dal and coconut rice with naan bread

Red Lentil Dal with Toasted Coconut Rice

Red Lentil Dal with Toasted Coconut Rice is a cozy, flavorful, plant-based meal filled with aromatic spices, garnished with tangy yogurt, and finished with bright cilantro and lime. It's incredibly comforting, satisfying, and nourishing. The toasted coconut rice adds an extra layer of flavor and dimension, and it's the perfect dinner to serve with warm naan!

Course Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Indian, Plant Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword basmati coconut rice, coconut rice, easy red lentil dal, healthy red lentil recipe, lentil dal, red lentil dahl, red lentil dal, red lentil dal coconut milk, toasted coconut rice, vegan red lentil dahl, vegan red lentil dal
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Molly | Spices in My DNA


For the lentil dal

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • coarsely chopped cilantro, for serving
  • plain 2% or full-fat Greek yogurt, for serving*
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • warmed naan, for serving

For the toasted coconut rice

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can lite coconut milk*
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut


For the lentil dal

  1. Heat a medium-large dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil. Once melted and hot, add the garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, salt, and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onion, and cook for an addtional 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils, and let them toast for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, and bay leaf and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Once dal has simmered for 20 minutes, remove lid and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until lentils are thick and creamy.

  2. Let dal cool for a few minutes, then stir in the lime juice. Season to taste with additional salt and freshly cracked black pepper, if desired. Serve dal over the coconut rice with a handful of cilantro, a dollop of Greek yogurt, lime wedges, and warmed naan.

For the toasted coconut rice

  1. To a medium saucepan fitted with a lid, add the coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice, stir, and reduce heat to medium to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before removing the lid.

  2. Meanwhile, toast your coconut. Add the coconut to a small skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until coconut is golden brown and fragrant (be careful - the coconut can burn in an instant!).

  3. Fluff rice with a fork and stir in the toasted coconut.

Recipe Notes

*Full-fat coconut milk works best in the dal, but for the coconut rice, I recommend using lite.
*To keep this recipe vegan, swap the Greek yogurt for your favorite dairy free yogurt, cashew cream, or coconut cream, mixed with a little lime juice to balance out the richness!