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Red Lentil Dhal (vegan & gluten-free)

Image of Winter Warming Dhal in blue enamel saucepan on tiled surface. The dhal is a deep golden yellow with carrots in it. There is a wooden spoon in the saucepan, and it sits on a potholder.
Image of Red Lentil Dhal in blue enamel saucepan on tiled surface. The dhal is a deep golden yellow with carrots in it. There is a wooden spoon in the saucepan, and it sits on a potholder.


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Need a quick dinner that’s perfect for vegan batch cooking? This Red Lentil Dhal is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and contains just 10 ingredients.


I love pottering in the kitchen and will be the first to admit that I use a lot of ingredients. True to my perfectionist nature, I tend to stand over the stove adding more and more spices and flavourings until the ingredient list is as long as my arm!

Obviously that doesn’t work so well when you’re trying to create simple recipes, so with that in mind I’ve created this delicious Red Lentil Dhal which contains just 10 ingredients and is packed with immunity-boosting foods such as fresh ginger and turmeric (an anti-inflammatory).

Not only is this dhal it simple to make, but it’s also a pretty cost-effective meal as the source of protein (red lentils) is inexpensive, making it perfect for vegan batch cooking. I love to serve this with a colourful side salad and short-grain brown rice for a delicious and nourishing dinner.

Close up image of Red Lentil Dhal on a white plate, accompanied by brown rice and a colourful side salad.

Red Lentil Dhal – FAQs


  • Should you soak red lentils? It’s not essential, but I highly recommend soaking your lentils for several hours before cooking them. Soaking helps make lentils more digestible as well as reducing their cooking time by about half! To do this, simply pour your lentils into a bowl or pan, cover with plenty of fresh water (they will expand!) and leave for 2-4 hours. Rinse, and they’re ready to cook with.
  • How do I sauté onion without oil? For this recipe I’ve chosen not to use oil. In its place you just need to use a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan, then sauté the onion as you would if you were using oil, stirring frequently. It’s that easy!
  • Can I freeze dhal? Yes! You can make this dhal and freeze it until needed. When ready to eat, simply defrost and reheat it in a pan.
  • Can I use coconut cream instead of milk? You can! coconut cream is usually much more solid and thicker than coconut milk as it’s made with less water, so bear this in mind if you decide to substitute with it. As a rule, you can generally substitute one 50g sachet of coconut cream for about one cup of coconut milk.
    Image of Winter Warming Dhal in blue enamel saucepan on tiled surface. The dhal is a deep golden yellow with carrots in it. There is a wooden spoon in the saucepan, and it sits on a potholder.
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    5 from 1 vote

    Red Lentil Dhal (vegan & gluten-free)

    Need a quick dinner that's perfect for vegan batch cooking? This Red Lentil Dhal is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and contains just 10 ingredients.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time45 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: gluten-free, healthy, Indian, vegan, vegetarian
    Servings: 3 people

    Ingredients

    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp garam masala spice
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • tsp coriander powder
    • 1 thumb ginger, grated
    • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
    • 2 cups vegetable stock
    • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
    • 1 carrot, thinly sliced into rounds

    To Serve (optional)

    • Brown rice
    • A side salad of your choice

    Instructions

    • In a large covered saucepan on medium-low heat, sauté the onion in a small amount of water (without oil) for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until just soft (if onion begins to stick to the pan, add a little more water).
    • Add in the garlic, spices and ginger and continue to sauté for 2 minutes, adding a little more water if needed.
    • Add the red lentils, stock and coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil.
    • Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft.
    • Add the carrot and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
    • Remove from the heat and check seasoning.
    • Serve with brown rice and a colourful side salad (the more colourful the veggies, the more vitamins they will contain!).

    I have lots more easy vegan dinner recipes on the blog that are perfect for batch cooking. Try my Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese, Warming Bean Chili, or my Easy Eggplant & Chickpea Stew.

    Did you try this recipe? If so, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I love to know how you’ve made it your own!

    This creamy red lentil dahl is comforting, hearty, healthy and delicious. The recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and can be made in 45 mins. This Warming Pantry Dahl is perfect as a weeknight dinner and meal prep and is made from store cupboard ingredients. #redlentildahl #lentildahl #dahl #pantryingredients

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