Coconut Lentil Dal is a comforting, creamy blend of aromatic Indian spices, green lentils, and light coconut milk. This dish is earthy, hearty, and perfect for fall or winter!
The New Year (hello, 2018!) is the time most of us become a little more health-conscious. I know I’ve had a few too many Christmas cookies and even though it was totally worth it, I’m definitely ready to start unpacking the veggies again. You bet my Christmas celebration was filled with Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies, Date & Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls, and the best Grain-Free Molasses Cookies! But. It’s time to get back into the veggies and healthy things. This the perfect vegetarian/vegan dinner to kick start your healthy 2018!
Dal: the delicious comfort-in-a-bowl offered to you at Indian restaurants in place of a starter salad. This dish originates in the Indian subcontinent and the term can mean either the ingredient or the dish itself.
Coconut Lentil Dal is made with only a handful of everyday ingredients – things you probably already have lurking in your pantry. Green or red lentils, light coconut milk, onions, garlic, curry paste and powder, and a few others. It’s also a very versatile dish! I’m talking sweet potatoes, carrots, peas… throw it all in!
We’ll add kale at the end (to help you reach your 5-a-day this year!), and top it all off with cilantro. If you aren’t vegan, feel free to add a dollop of fresh yogurt before digging in. Make sure to serve it all up with naan bread and brown rice!
Now let’s talk nutrients. Lentils are wonderful little pulses. They’re incredibly high in plant-based protein and fiber, as well as folic acid and iron! They’re quick to prepare, taking only 15 minutes to cook through and providing a chewy, yet still crisp texture.
This Coconut Lentil Dal is…
- nutritious and heart-healthy. Lentils can help reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re high in folic acid and magnesium, which help reduce homocysteine levels in the blood. Magnesium helps improve blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. The fiber also promotes healthy digestion.
- high in healthy fats, like medium-chain triglycerides
- incredibly versatile – add sweet potatoes or carrots, serve it over brown rice, or dip naan bread in it!
- creamy and cozy, the perfect winter comfort bowl (without all the calories!)
I can’t wait to dig into cozy, comforting (but lighter) meals this winter, starting with this Coconut Lentil Dal!
What’s your favorite lighter comfort food during the winter?
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- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp red curry paste
- 1 15-oz. can light coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar, to taste
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 c. chopped kale, ribs and stems removed
- 1 c. green or red lentils, rinsed
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil. When melted, stir in the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, 30 seconds. Add the curry paste, stirring until well-incorporated.
Slowly pour in the coconut milk. Add the curry powder, coconut sugar, ginger, and salt, stirring to incorporate. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then reduce heat to low. When the mixture is simmering, add the kale and lentils. Continue to simmer 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Add the lemon juice, stirring to incorporate. Taste and season with more salt or curry powder as needed. It should be salty, with just a hint of sweetness and spice.
Serve over brown rice with fresh naan bread, chopped cilantro, and yogurt, if desired.
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 230 Protein: 7g Carb: 28g Fat: 11g