Coconut Lentil Dal

I continually fail at my attempts to be more green. I use straws occasionally, I still buy items packed in plastic sometimes, I buy fast fashion simply because it’s cute, and I still enjoy meat most days. I’m okay with all of this, it’s a process and I’m working on it. There are ways to help me avoid these pitfalls: always having my reusable straw, planning ahead to bring glass to-go containers with me when I go out to eat, avoiding the Target clearance section, and last but not least – Coconut Lentil Dal. 

The spice blend of your dreams 

If you’re looking for a fantastic meatless Monday dish, or you happen to be a vegan, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, who likes quick and easy meals, then this is the dish for you.

I’ve essentially combined a few recipes I’ve loved into one I can’t resist. I am like obsessed with this meal. I’ve told multiple Trader Joe’s cashiers about it. I make it weekly, sometimes for dinner with rice or cauliflower rice, sometimes I meal prep it for lunches throughout the week. Thanks to the prepped lentils at Trader Joe’s this recipe comes together in about 30 minutes, or less!

Coconut Lentil Dal

Serves 4; cooking time active 30 minutes 

If mujadara and tikka masala had a love child, this meatless delight would be it 

  • 2 tbls ghee*
  • sweet white onion sliced 
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbls garam masala
  • 1 tbls turmeric
  • 1 tbls paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder optional 
  • 1 can tomato paste 6 oz can
  • 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz can
  • 1 pkg French lentils I used Trader Joe’s steamed and Ready to Eat
* substitute coconut oil for vegan/dairy free 


1. Begin by heating ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat, once melted add sliced white onion and salt. Cook until caramelized, or if you’re in a rush until translucent. 
2. Wake up the spices by adding them to the onions and ghee (adding 1 tbls more of ghee if needed for moisture.) Allow spices to bloom by stirring over low heat for 1 minute. 
3. Turn off heat. Add tomato paste, stir into onion spice mixture. Once tomato paste is incorporated, stir in coconut milk. 
4. Next up add lentils, breaking up any that may be stuck together in large chunks. Heat through on medium and continue to simmer for up to 20 minutes. 
5. Serve alongside rice, naan, or a crispy cool cucumber salad. Enjoy! 

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