• 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 (15 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • cooked rice, for serving


Heat oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and saute another minute. Add the curry powder and turmeric and stir in briefly. Stir in the lentils, coconut milk, and water. Partially cover and simmer over low heat until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Add more water to create a thinner soup-like dal, or simmer uncovered to thicken. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice or flatbread.


Instant Pot Instructions: Follow the stovetop directions, but instead of simmering on the stove, lock the Instant Pot lid on and set the valve to sealing. Cook on manual mode for 1 minute. Carefully quick release the pressure while protecting your hand from the steam. Remove the lid away from you.

Using Green Lentils: Follow the recipe but simmer for 40 minutes.

Make it Spicy: If you like heat, add 1 diced Thai red chili or jalapeno in with the onion, or add ground red chile pepper.