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Red Lentil Dal with Coconut and Sweet Potatoes

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Here I go on my lentil rant again: eat more lentils, people! Seriously- they are delish, nutrish, and cheap! This gorgeous and tasty dal, or Indian lentil curry, showcases the best of what lentils have to offer. These little legumes are quick cooking (25-30 minutes tops) and meld with a wide spectrum of amazing flavors. In this recipe, I've paired red lentils with a bold spice mix, sweet potatoes grated on a box grater, and coconut milk to create a killer curry. The resulting color is insanely vibrant and the flavor is intense and warming without being spicy. Plus, it all came together really quickly so this is a great quick fix meal on a busy weeknight! Tobin went back for three helpings when I made this recently- we loved it! While my boys weren't crazy about this dish, I sent some home with my friend for her baby boy and he devoured his bowl! So it is potentially kid friendly as well (it's loaded with plant based protein and good-for-you nutrients). I like to serve this as a main dish when I'm craving a satisfying vegetarian (even vegan) entree, but it would also be lovely as a side dish on an Indian style menu. Mmm- maybe paired up with some tandoori chicken! This dal is more of a thick stew, but if you would like to make it soupier you could add in more water to achieve the consistency you like. Dollop a little greek yogurt on top, add a lemon wedge, sprinkle some toasted coconut and cilantro to finish and you have a perfect, DALicious bowl of curry- don't forget the naan bread for dunking!


prep time: 15 min. cook time: 30 min. serves: 6 (unless you live with a "Tobin" haha)


1 medium red onion, diced

2 tbsp avocado or olive oil

1/2 jalapeño, with seeds, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 cups grated sweet potato

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

Ground black pepper to taste

1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup red lentils

1-14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes


plain full fat yogurt, chopped cilantro, lemon wedges, toasted unsweet coconut, toasted almonds, and/or naan bread



Heat the oil in a dutch oven or similar over medium heat. Add the onion and let cook about 3 minutes, until it's beginning to soften. Next, add in the sweet potatoes, jalapeño, garlic and ginger with 1/2 tsp salt. Stir to coat in the oil and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the spices, remaining 1-1/2 tsp salt and lentils and stir to mix everything thoroughly. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and two cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow the dal to simmer, partially covered, until the lentils and the potatoes are tender, adding more liquid if it seems to be drying out, about 25 minutes. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed along with ground black pepper if desired. Check for seasoning.

Ladle the dal into bowls with cilantro, dolloped plain yogurt, and toasted coconut/almonds on top and lemon wedges and naan on the side!

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