This creamy and delicious green lentil dahl is packed with flavour and nutritious too. It freezes really well, so is ideal for batch cooking.
🍴 Why you will love this recipe
We eat dahl at least once a week in our house - it is cheap, easy to make, nutritious and most importantly really delicious too. What's not to love?
Green lentils don't turn mushy like red lentils do in dahl - they keep their shape and a bit of 'bite'. This green lentil dahl is so creamy with coconut milk and gentle spices. It is finished with a kick of lemon and added goodness from spinach or kale.
High in fibre, a good source of protein and packed with vitamins and minerals, lentils are really good for you, (find out why in this BBC article). This green lentil dahl goes down a treat with children and adults alike, (I leave out the chilli if making it for kids, though it is fairly mild anyway).
I usually serve it with rice and green vegetables, and it is also delicious scooped up in a naan or homemade flatbread.
📝 What you need
Dried green lentils are cheap, nutritious and easy to find in supermarkets.
Coconut milk Either full-fat or reduced-fat coconut milk is fine - it must be tinned coconut milk, not from a carton.
Ginger and garlic Fresh ginger and garlic give a delicious savoury base to the dahl, but if you're in a hurry you can use ginger and garlic paste from a jar instead for a shortcut.
A good, sturdy casserole dish with a lid is ideal for this green lentil dahl. My trusty Le Creuset casserole gets used almost every day in our house, and fourteen years later (it was a wedding present!), it looks just the same as it did the day we got it. (Can't say the same about me or Mr F, sadly!!).
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Green Lentil Dahl
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼 .
Peel and finely slice a red onion and fry gently. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and spices.
Add dried lentils, coconut milk and vegetable stock and simmer gently for 45-50 minutes. Stir through roughly chopped spinach or kale, a little more coconut milk and lemon juice and zest.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Adjust the consistency of your dahl before serving - if it has become too thick add a splash of water to the pan. If it is too runny keep simmering without the lid for a further 2-3 minutes.
If you want to use red lentils instead of green, reduce the quantity of vegetable stock to 400ml.
Yes, this dahl freezes really well so is perfect to batch-cook and stock up the freezer. I use old takeaway tubs or margarine tubs to freeze individual portions, which can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.
No, this recipe assumes that you haven't soaked them in advance - but you can soak them overnight in cold water, which will cut down the cooking time by up to 20 minutes.
Yes, green lentils take longer to cook than red lentils - around 45-50 minutes. They keep their shape and some 'bite', compared to red lentils which quickly turn to mush when cooked.
Creamy Green Lentil Dahl
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- thumb-sized piece fresh ginger
- 1 green chilli
- 2.5 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch chilli flakes
- 200 g dried green lentils
- 400 ml coconut milk from a tin
- 550 ml vegetable stock
- handful baby spinach or curly kale
- 1 lemon
- Heat the oil in a deep, lidded frying pan or casserole dish.
- Peel and finely slice the red onion and fry gently for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger, cook for a further minute. De-seed and slice the chilli and add to the pan along with the garam masala, turmeric and chilli flakes.
- Rinse the green lentils until the water runs clear, then add to the pan. Add most of the coconut milk, (keep back just a few tablespoons in the bottom of the tin), and vegetable stock. Season generously with salt and black pepper.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover with the lid, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring regularly to stop the lentils sticking on the bottom. Remove the lid and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the lentils are cooked through and the dahl is thick.
- Roughly chop the spinach or kale and stir through the dahl for the final minute of cooking time.
- Add the juice and zest of the lemon and the remaining coconut milk and stir through the dahl. Taste and adjust seasoning as required, then serve.
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