Picking my favourite recipe I’ve written is like picking a favourite child – it’s impossible. BUT if I had to, this creamy coconut, spinach and red lentil dhal would most certainly be a strong contender. I have cooked this dish up more times than I can remember! It’s great when you have nothing in the fridge as it can be rustled up almost exclusively from items in the pantry. Prepare to be amazed.Jump to Recipe
WHY SHOULD I COOK IT?
Tender lentils, warming spices and fresh vibrant spinach entwined in creamy coconut milk and served with a zing of red onion and a crunch of toasted cashew nuts. This red lentil dhal will be your new go-to ’empty fridge’ dinner.
WHAT’S THE OCCASION?
A cosy and affordable curry night in, a ‘serve yourself’ casual dinner party or an end of the week ‘I have nothing to eat!’ supper. It’s ideal for feeding plant-based eaters, but satisfying enough that the carnivores will love it too!
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ME?
This red lentil dhal can easily be made on a weeknight. You’ll need about 15 minutes hands-on for a little bit of chopping and prepping, and then 20-25 minutes of occasional stirring. This is the time to relax, pour yourself a glass of something lovely and prepare for the worlds most delicious supper. You can also make the dhal in advance and keep it in the fridge/freezer to be reheated over the stove whenever you see fit.
IS IT DIFFICULT?
Nope! If you can chop an onion, you can make this red lentil dhal. It’s all made in one pot which means the washing up is easy too. For difficulty, it’s a 4/10.
WHY IS IT HEALTHY?
Lentils are fantastic! Part of the legume family, they are high in fibre, a brilliant source of plant-based protein, count towards your 5-a-day and are far more affordable than meat or meat alternatives. They also act as a complex carbohydrate, helping to balance your blood sugar and keeping you feeling satisfied for longer.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
A sharp knife and chopping board, a high-sided frying pan or saucepan and something to stir it all together.
If you only ever try one of my recipes, let it be this red lentil dhal. I’m not bias or anything, but I think it’s pretty damn tasty. If you do make it, please let me know! You can tag me in photos on IG @georgieeatsuk, use the #georgieeats or leave me a comment down below. If you want to check out my AMAZING photographer, you can do so here: @kirstyjaynerussell and here: kirstyjaynerussell.com. Keep smiling!
COCONUT, SPINACH & RED LENTIL DHAL
A one-pot easy dish bursting with creamy coconut, tender red lentils, warming spices and fresh vibrant spinach. It's the perfect 'empty fridge' dinner! Vegan & GF.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 125 g dried red lentils
- 100 g creamed coconut
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 100 g spinach
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp turmeric
- cashew nuts lightly toasted
- fresh coriander roughly chopped
- thinly sliced red onion
Place a high-sided frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and let it sweat for 6-8 minutes, until soft and translucent. Then, add the garlic, spice mix and a dash of water. Stir well and fry for a further minute or so, until the spices release their aroma.
Add the red lentils, creamed coconut, stock and honey/maple syrup into the pan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let the pan gently bubble for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and the dhal is creamy.
Stir in the white wine vinegar and spinach, then season generously with sea salt & black pepper. Simmer for a minute or so more, until the spinach has wilted.
Serve the dhal over rice sprinkled with chopped fresh coriander, toasted cashew nuts and slithers of thinly sliced red onion.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. This dhal also freezes brilliantly for up to 3 months.
If you would prefer to use coconut milk instead of creamed coconut, substitute the creamed coconut with a 400ml tin of coconut milk and reduce the vegetable stock to 200ml.
Vegan: Use maple syrup rather than honey.