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Red Lentil Dal with Coconut and Sweet Potatoes

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

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, 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 cup red onion, small dice

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 jalapeño, with seeds, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups grated sweet potato

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp ground ginger

1-1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup red lentils

1 cup canned or fresh diced tomatoes

4 cups baby spinach


plain greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, lemon wedges, toasted unsweet coconut, naan bread



Heat both of the oils in a Dutch oven over medium. 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. Stir to coat in the oil and cook another 5 minutes. Add the spices, 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 uncovered 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. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, toss in the spinach and let it wilt down in the curry. Check for seasoning. Ladle the dal into bowls with cilantro, dolloped greek yogurt, and toasted coconut on top and lemon wedges and naan on the side. *This dal is great made in advance- just hold off on adding the spinach until you reheat it to serve and add more liquid if it's gotten too thick in the fridge (same goes for freezing).

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