Healthy dinner ideas: Coconut red lentil dahl recipe with zingy slaw

Posted by
Jenny Tregoning
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Coconut Dahl Recipe with Zingy Slaw

It’s the ultimate weeknight dilemma: what should I eat for dinner, thats quick, healthy and tasty? 

Once maligned as an unimaginative vegetarian option, lentils shouldn’t be overlooked as a delicious dinner staple (as anyone who’s ever tasted Dishoom’s sublime black lentil daal should know). 

Here, Stylist favourites the Hemsley sisters share their recipe for a smooth and satisfying coconut red lentil dahl. Quick to prepare and complemented by the tangy slaw, we’re adding this to our weeknight repertoire immediately. Enjoy!

Coconut dahl with zingy slaw recipe

Serves: 6 portions

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


For the coconut dahl:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger (unpeeled if organic), finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 500g dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 x 400ml tin of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 litre bone broth or water
  • Juice of ½ lemon or lime, or 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps tamari
  • 2 handfuls of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks chopped
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds

For the slaw:

  • 1 medium white or green cabbage, leaves shredded
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon or lime, or 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper


Step 1: Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring now and then, for 8 minutes until softened.

Step 2: Add the garlic to the pan with the ginger, turmeric and chilli powder. Fry for a further minute, stirring to prevent the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan.

Step 3: Tip in the lentils and add the coconut milk and broth or water to the pan. Turn up the heat, then stir, cover with a lid and cook at a medium simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add a little more broth or water if you like a soupier dahl.

Step 4: While the dahl is cooking, make the slaw. Toss the cabbage and herbs in the lemon/lime juice or vinegar and olive or flaxseed oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: Add the lemon/lime juice or vinegar to the dahl, season with the tamari and salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle over the coriander and sesame seeds. Serve with the slaw, either on the side or spooned on top.

Variation: Instead of the slaw, try a big pile of peppery watercress served on top of the hot dahl with a squeeze of lemon.

Recipe from: Good + Simple by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley (RRP £25, Ebury Press), out now.

Wine pair like a pro:

Wine expert Jane Parkinson recommends the perfect wine to pair with your delicious dahl.

The riesling grape loves coconut, ginger and fresh herbs so this is a no-brainer pairing. It’s low-ish in alcohol at 8.5%, it’s incredibly fruity with a delicious lemon sherbet flavour and it’s so fresh it ping-pongs across your palate with a very tiny sparkle.

Dr Loosen Riesling 2014, £7, Sainsbury’s

View more recipes from Stylist here.

Image: Good + Simple by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, Ebury Press


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Jenny Tregoning

Jenny Tregoning is deputy production editor and food editor at Stylist, where she combines her love of grammar with lusting over images of food

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