I really enjoyed making this one pot healthy and gorgeously spiced coconut dahl (or coconut daal, aka coconut dal). Unlike choosing how to spell dahl, making this lentil curry recipe was no hassle. Since I only served it to two people there is also plenty left in the fridge to take to work and enjoy all week.
This is a really tasty recipe which and a nice warming note of chilli, whilst not being overpowering. The coconut and soft lentils give it a really smooth and rich texture, whilst the leeks add a little colour and crunch to the meal.
Is it a coconut dahl? Or a lentil curry?
The flavours of this recipe are inspired by my experiences South Indian cuisine, which is typically vegetarian and often coconut based. Their food is also lighter and less intensely hot with chillies making it in many ways a more pleasant experience. Though I do love my chillies!
The word dahl or dall (or dal or dhal…) just means lentils, so calling this recipe a coconut dahl just means coconut lentils. I think this is fair enough as a description! If you order a dahl in Northern India you’d expect something more earthy than this though,
Equally, a curry is ‘meat or vegetables cooked in an Indian-style sauce’ – again I think that a lentil curry is an ok description!
I couldn’t decide which, so I went with both and ta da this is a coconut dahl lentil curry.
Don’t feel you need to be rigid with this recipe!
If you do make this recipe then feel free to be flexible – you could just as well use sweet potatoes – sweet potato curry is delicious! Or replace the leeks with spinach for a classic coconut saag. You could also add more water and lap it up as a really morish soup! Or more lentils to thicken it up and head towards a more traditional dahl recipe!
Equally, there are plenty of times I want more spice – if you want to turn up the heat then double the chilli, or use a couple of dried bird’s eye chillies (these are hot hot hot by the way) for a proper punch. More cumin and some curry leaves will also give you more earthiness to the curry if that yours kettle of fish.
Spiced one pot healthy red lentil and leek coconut curry
- 2 Medium potatoes
- 2 Medium leeks
- Half Cup Red lentils (dried)
- 1 Cup Coconut milk
- 1 Medium chilli (medium in size and spice)
- 1 Stock pot or cube
- 1-2 Cup Water
- 1 Tsp Tumeric
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Garlic granules/powder
- Pepper to taste
- Once you’ve got all your ingredients together peel the potatoes and make sure your leeks are nice and clean.
- Chop the potato into cubes, approx 1-2cm across, and boil in the pan with a stock cube. Start with one cup of water, but feel free to add more if it seems to be getting too thick.
- When the water is boiling add your lentils and spices in.
- This mixture now needs to simmer away for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are nice and soft.
- Now add your coconut milk and half the chilli sliced, and all the leeks sliced too.
- Stir together and cook for 4-5 minutes until the leeks are just cooked.
- Serve with rice, and garnish with the remaining chillies.