Carrot and coconut dhal

Somewhere between soup and curry, this lentil and carrot dhal is Indian-style comfort food at its best

  • PREP
    20 minutes
  • COOK
    35 minutes


  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 225g dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 100g dried white basmati rice
  • 200g reduced-fat coconut milk
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped, plus a few sprigs


  1. Spray a large non-stick saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, chilli flakes, ginger and 4 tbsp water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Uncover the pan, add the turmeric and ground coriander and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils and stock and bring to a simmer, then cover again and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, drop the rice into a pan of boiling water and bring back to the boil. Stir once and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the rice is tender. Drain well.
  4. Slide the pan of dhal off the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Pour half of the dhal into a food processor or liquidiser, blitz well and return it to the pan. Season to taste, reheat gently and stir in half of the coriander.
  5. Divide the dhal between 4 deep bowls. Pile up the cooked rice in the centre and sprinkle with the remaining coriander and the sprigs to serve.

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