Easy Spinach and Coconut Dal

This spinach and coconut dal is a delicious, but frugal family meal, that can be thrown together in under half an hour. Made with red lentils, spinach, coconut milk, a few simple spices and vegetable stock.

Easy Spinach and Coconut Dal

Easy Spinach and Coconut Dal

Spinach and Coconut Dal. 

I cal it dal, but maybe you call it dahl, dhal, daal or even dail. 

There doesn't seem to be just one way to spell it, but which ever way you spell it, it is utterly delicious and a real comfort food.

What is Dal?

Small bowl of Easy Spinach and Coconut Dal

Dal is an Indian term for spit peas, beans or lentils. It is also the name of the finished dish, which can either be served thick like a curry or thinner as a soup. 

In Western India it is serve with naan bread or roti. 

In Eastern India it is served with rice. It seems to be made with a variety of split pulses and served differently from region to region.

It can be made with chana dal (made from black chickpeas), rajma dal (made from kidney beans), mung dal (split mung beans), yellow split peas, masoor dal (red lentils) and urad dal (also known as black gram). I am sure it is made with many other pulses too.

also try - Aloo Gobhi(potato & cauliflower dry style curry)or Slow Cooker Vegetable & Chickpea Curry

Basic Dal

The basic dal is made simply by cooking lentils with water, turmeric and salt. 

There are usually other spices added too, which also vary from region to region and sometimes tomatoes or mango is also added. 

Then it is topped with onion, garlic and ginger cooked with spices, which is poured over the top before it is served.

How do I make dal?

I always use red lentils as the base for my dal and make it more like a curry than soup, although I have been known to add more stock to leftover dal to make a soup for the next day.

I use stock instead of water in my dal and add coconut cream for a luxurious finish.

The spices I add are fresh or dried ginger, ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander and chilli powder or chilli flakes. I also like to add spinach which adds extra flavour and extra nutrients.


also try - Aubergine and Onion Masala (slow cooker recipe) 

Spinach and Coconut Dal with rice and mango chutney

How to serve dal?

On weeknights I completely ignore tradition and serve my dal with toasted wholemeal pitta bread to scoop it up, but if I have more time I will serve it with rice, mango chutney and some poppadoms.

A trio of Indian curry - saag aloo, chickpea curry and spinach and coconut dal

If I have guests arriving for dinner I will also make some of my favourite chickpea curry, some saag aloo (spinach and potato side dish) and some homemade chapatis (which are actually rather simple to make).

Homemade Chapatis


I mentioned I sometimes make chapatis to serve with my curries. 

They are a simple Indian flatbread, which are also called rotis.

They are an unleavened (made without yeast) bread. They are super simple and quick to make from chapati (or wholemeal flour), a little oil and water. 

The ingredients are all kneaded together to form a dough, left to rest for 10 minutes, then rolled out and cooked in a pan for a few minutes. 

Too puff it up you pop it over a flame. Luckily I have a gas hob so I can use that, but you can just leave them as flatbreads too. 

I have to say they are pretty spectacular when they are puffed up.

I make chapatis using a cup to measure out the ingredients, but I also link to the metric measurements. Honestly you don't have to be that precise.

also try - Mushroom, Potato and Aubergine Curry (shortcut curry)

A bowl of creamy Spinach and Coconut Dal

Dal with toasted pitta bread is one of our favourite weeknight meals. It takes less than half an hour to make and basically you just throw all the ingredients into a pot and let it bubble away.

It tastes glorious, which is probably why we have it nearly every week and
Cooper loves it too which is an added bonus as it's filled with lentil and spinach goodness. Its also high in protein and rich with B vitamins, thiamine and folic acid, as well as iron and zinc

One pot of dal feeds three of us for two nights. It's a very frugal meal and as I said before it can also be turned into a lovely soup with the addition of some extra stock.

You are going to love this dal!

also try - Roast Vegetable Vindaloo (a Jamie Oliver recipe) 

Nutrition and calories for Spinach and Coconut Dal - 411 calories per portion

try this next

Three-Tin Tomato Turmeric and Coconut Dahl

Three-Tin Tomato Turmeric and Coconut Dahl

A fabulous weeknight dinner that won't break the bank, made with store cupboard ingredients. This dahl, is simple to make, healthy and delicious.

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Spinach and coconut dal is a delicious, but frugal family meal, that can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes. The perfect midweek meal. #vegan #dal #curry #quickdinner #vegandinner #lentils #dahl #veganrecipe 

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Indian, vegetarian, vegan
Yield: 4-6
Easy Spinach and Coconut Dal

Spinach and Coconut Dal

A delicious, but frugal family meal, that can be thrown together in under half an hour. Great for during the week, when you get in from work late and need to put a meal on the table.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 30 mins


  • 400g red lentils
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 600ml vegetable stock (3 stock cubes)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 200g fresh spinach (chop if you prefer smaller pieces of spinach in the dal)
  • a handful of fresh coriander
  • a good grinding of black pepper


  1. Rinse the lentils really well under cold running water, then add
    to a large heavy based pot with all the ingredients bar the fresh spinach, fresh
    coriander and black pepper.
  2. Bring to the boil, reduce to a gently simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the spinach and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
  4. Add the coriander and stir through. You may add a little more stock or water, if you feel it needs it.
  5. Season with black pepper and serve.
  6. Enjoy!


Nutrition and calories are for 6 servings.

You can also use frozen spinach and coriander in this recipe. If I use frozen, I tend to throw in about 2 or 3 little bundles of spinach and 2 or 3 cubes of coriander.
fat (grams)
sat. fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
protein (grams)
sugar (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator

also try - Hot Mango Chutney (serve with your curry) 


  1. Replies
    1. It is Akheela, it's super tasty. My hubby is sick of me saying "Mmmmmm! This is soooooo good!" every time I make it.

  2. This went straight into the to-try folder!

  3. This has gone straight inot the to-try folder! x

  4. This looks divine!! I'm impressed that Cooper will eat this... I must try it out on my boys and see if they'll go for it. I like the idea of using pittas for scooping... that could be the key to getting Sam and Arlo interested as they love any kind of interactive food!!! Great pix btw :-)

    1. Thanks Katie,

      He loves it and will happily eat it with a spoon without the pitta, although he does love dunking. The secret for wee ones is to cut the spinach finely, so there are no long strands.

  5. The daal looks yummy :) Love the colour.

  6. "Your dal is good, your dal IS good!"

    1. Thanks And. I'm glad you liked it and pleased to hear you have made some yourself.

  7. Love a good dal! Such an easy meal to throw together on those busy nights. Yum!!

  8. What a delicious recipe, perfect for the cooler nights now autumn is well and truly here. I'll definitely give it a try, might use Chard instead of spinach as we have a huge glut of it from our allotments. :)

    1. That's a great idea Michelle. I hope you enjoy it :)

  9. This looks like such a great fresh dinner idea! Thanks for sharing

  10. Delicious! Thanks for sending to Credit Crunch Munch!

    I mainly use coconut milk powder for my dals as it is really cheap (much more than tinned) but inexplicably they add whey to lots of them which would make it unsuitable for your vegan husband.

  11. I adore Dal and yours sounds delicious. I have yet to find a recipe that I am 100% happy with - definitely going to give yours a try. x

    1. Well I hope this is the one for you Anneli. Do let me know what you think :)

  12. This looks wonderful! I miss Indian food so much now I live in Italy! Will be trying this out on the Italians!

  13. This looks like a tasty recipe, we love lentils and spinach so we'll definitely try it!

    1. It's definitely the one for you then Ren. Hope you enjoy it :)

  14. This sounds fantastic, three of my favourite foods, lentils, spinach and coconut all in one dish. Thank you for sharing!

  15. a must try for us! :)

  16. I love dahl! Definitely pinning this one. :)

  17. I love how simple this it yet packs such a healthy punch.

    1. It's super healthy and tasty Bintu. I don't think you can beat it!

  18. Look at the colour of that daal, wow! Great job Jacqueline! I bet it tastes smooth and comforting. Have you tried mixing daals? Urdu daal and red lentil daal with spinach are so good together. Also, if you cook them in yoghurt and gram flour it provides a bit of tasty variety x

    1. No, I'll have to try that Deena. Thanks for the tip :)

  19. I'm definitely going to make this! It is obviously very cheap, but most importantly for me is tomato free which I find actually limits a lot of dal recipes. I shall let you know how it goes, love the blog by the way.

    If you want to, please have a look over the recipes on my student lifestyle blog at

    1. I know you will love it. Thnaks for stopping by :)

  20. A fabulous recipe Jac and one that I would enjoy! Thanks for adding it to Cooking with Herbs.

  21. This looks so so good, I must make this, it contains so many ingredients I love!

  22. This is going on my "to do" list right now!

  23. I'm planning on buying these ingredients for tonight's dinner. It looks like such a comforting dish Jac!

  24. I am very confused here, although this recipe looks very nice, It does not feature any tinned tomatoes! I thought this was supposed to be a tinned tomatoes website. Can you please explain what is happening?

    @cynth_Fielding Cynthia Fielding

    1. Hi Cynthia, I named my blog tinned tomatoes many years ago as so many of my dishes contained them, it was my starting point. While some of my recipes still do contain tinned tomatoes, this site is primarily vegetarian and vegan recipes.

  25. Hi Jacquie! I absolutely adore this recipe! I've made it several times , and it gets eaten up very quickly!! Super simple and insanely delicious!!

    Donna Forbes

    1. Here too Donna. We have it regularly. It's so easy to make, sneakily healthy and tastes wonderful. I am so glad you are enjoying it too. Thanks for letting me know. You've made my day :)

  26. Made it today and it was brilliant! My very picky 14-year old loved it too and asked for 2 extra servings! I added some extra salt and didn't have enough red lentils, so I topped it up with mungbeans. Also, I made some Basmati rice to eat it with instead of the Pitta bread. Will definitely make this again! So easy and tasty!

    1. Oh that's fab. It's a regular meal here and we love it. It's so simple, but healthy and really tasty. Nice idea to add the mung beans.

  27. This was easy to make and very tasty! (Although some children started picking out the spinach!) Fiona x

    1. haha I have a boy like that. He doesn't do it with dal but he does with other dishes. They are so suspicious. Honestly!

  28. Thank you, finally I'm in heaven. I've found my perfect dahl! Delicious,frugal and so quick to make. This will be a great camping recipe too.
    Thank you much! Adrienne

    1. Yay! Glad you like it. It's a real favourite here too. So easy but tasty. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it.

  29. Absolutely delicious - added a few chopped apricots after having them in another dhal recipe, would recommend!

    1. Oh good idea and I am do glad you enjoyed it. It's a real favourite here and we have it regularly.


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