The Musette: Coconut Red Lentil Dal and Pineapple Raita

I made this dal as one of the sides for my Chicken Vesuvius. You can use other lentils but I like to use red ones because they cook so quickly. I made it less spicy than usual as I wanted it to complement the chicken dish, not compete with it, but it’s easily spiced up with the addition of a freshly chopped red chilli. If you don’t have curry leaves, don’t worry, it will still taste wonderful. And it freezes beautifully which is why I always make way more than I need.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 600g (3 cups) red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 200g (1 cup) tomatoes, canned or fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut or  vegetable oil
  • 400g (14 oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 15 fresh, frozen or dried curry leaves (optional)


1. In a large saucepan add tbsp of oil and cook the chopped onion until it’s transluscent, around 10-15 minutes. Then add  the ground spices and tomato paste and cook for a further couple of minutes. Now add the washed lentils, tomatoes and salt and combine in the glossy onion spice mixture.

2. Finally add 1200ml (5 cups) of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 – 45 minutes, or until the lentils begin to break down.

3. While the lentils are simmering, in a frying pan, warm tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. Cover the pan and wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add the finely chopped onion and the curry leaves and cook, stirring to prevent the leaves from burning, until lightly browned.

4. Once the lentils have broken down, add the coconut milk and then the curry leaf mixture. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavours have melded.

Best Coconut Red Lentil Dal Recipe - How to Make Dal with Coconut Milk

5. You can easily cook this the day before and keep it in the fridge though you may need to slacken it with further coconut milk as it tends to thicken as it sits.

Pineapple Raita

I like to serve raita alongside any curry dish. This one uses equal weights of fresh pineapple and thick Greek-style yoghurt (200g each) with small fresh, finely chopped and de-seeded red chilli, sea salt and chilli powder.

11 Comments on “The Musette: Coconut Red Lentil Dal and Pineapple Raita

  1. Just curious if it’s a more sweet or savory dish? I’m thinking with the onions and coconut milk, it’s more on the sweet side but I’m just not sure? Would love to try it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: ReBlogging ‘The Musette: Coconut Red Lentil Dal and Pineapple Raita’ – Link Below | Relationship Insights by Yernasia Quorelios

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