Red Lentil & Coconut Dal with Spiced Rice

This is one of those recipes that I just never get sick of. It's so easy to make, lends itself to playing around and customizing it (try spooning the dal inside baked pita or phyllo cups for a delicious and simple appetizer!), and, best of all, the leftovers are SO tasty since the flavors intensify nicely in the fridge. Cannot recommend enough adding this to your regular rotation!


1 medium onion, diced

2 T coconut oil

1 T ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t cumin

1.5 tsp coriander

1 t turmeric

1 T chili powder

1 T curry powder (I highly recommend making your own blend!)

2 t salt

2 cups vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed

1 can coconut milk (regular or reduced fat, up to you!)

2 medium zucchini, diced

1/2 cup cilantro

fresh lime juice

In a large pan, heat the coconut oil and add the onion, sautéing until the edges are golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder, and salt, and cook another minute. Add the stock, lentils, and coconut milk, stirring to combine, and bringing to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. In the mean time, prepare the rice:

Spiced Rice

2 cups cooked rice (cooked in vegetable stock for best flavor)

1 1/2 T coconut oil

1 t sea salt

1/4 t each: mustard powder, cumin, chili, coriander

pinch cardamom

pinch turmeric

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan and add the salt and spices. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, letting spices heat and flavors intensify. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Once the lentils and zucchini are tender, spoon rice and dal into bowls, and garnish with lime juice and cilantro to taste.

This is a recipe that does well with freezing, can be thinned a bit with vegetable stock and coconut milk to make soup, and makes a lovely addition to the fillings of samosas, burritos, and enchiladas. Enjoy!

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