Cook/ Easy Weeknight

Green Lentil Daal – An Easy Weeknight Meal

July 22, 2018 (Last Updated: January 10, 2019)

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This green lentil daal recipe is Indian inspired and packed full of tasty spices.  It’s ready in less than 45 minutes, made in one pot and perfect for meal prep.  It also happens to be vegan, so it’s perfect for your meat free Monday!

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overhead shot of a bowl of green lentil daal, next to naan bread with a fork on the table

Oh my god guys!!  I didn’t realise how long it’s been since my last post!! I’ve been sat, brimming with ideas for new recipes, cooking a tonne, but just not taking photos or writing – blogging fail!  I think I did need the time away though, between settling in to a new country, freelancing and obviously enjoying a bunch of new food I’ve been quite busy!  The time off has given me some focus, I have a back catalogue of so many good recipes and I can’t wait to start sharing with you again!  I’m super happy to be posting this green lentil daal recipe with you today – it’s a million times tried and tested, and has gotten lots of thumbs up!


What is Daal?

Daal (or dahl, or dal) is a traditional Indian dish that is made form legumes – most commonly lentils, but it can also be made with split peas or beans.  It can be served as a side dish or as a vegan main, and is often served with naan bread or rice to soak up all those spicy flavours.

Since moving to Toronto, I’ve REALLY missed good Indian food.  Indian food in Britain is it’s own special cuisine, and although Toronto is head and shoulders above in other world foods, Indian just hasn’t quite taken off in the same way here.  British Indian food is the only thing I’ve been craving since the move, and this recipe totally hits the spot!

A bowl of green lentil daal with two forks on a white and blue mat

Green Lentil Daal cooked in coconut milk- A Vegan Recipe

So my regular readers will know that I lurve my meat, but a visit from one of my best friends, who just happens to be vegan, made me step out of my ‘let’s eat steak’ norm!  Flavour, in a lot of the dishes we are used to, comes from fat, more specifically, animal fat, so when cooking without that enhancer you gotta rely on spices and flavours from other sources.  That’s why Indian food is great for vegans!

When I’ve cooked lentils in the past, I’ve often cooked them in stock (chicken or veggie) to get additional seasoning into them. Because of the Indian spices I used in this dish, coconut milk was an easy substitution, it gives the finished dish a silky, creamy texture and the sweetness balances out the heat of the spices.

How to Make Green Lentil Daal

Here’s the good news!  This recipe is an easy weeknight meal that is cooked in one pot, on the table in 45 minutes and the leftovers are even better making this perfect for meal prep. I make a huge batch each time for lunches and easy re-heat dinners! Seriously guys, this recipe is so easy, I can’t even add any tips or tricks to make it easier!

I kept my green lentil daal fairly simple for this recipe, but I have also added in extra veg in other batches.  Spinach can be stirred in just before serving, or kale if you are that way inclined.  I love it with mushrooms, or you could try cauliflower or carrots.  I also love stirring in parsley or coriander (cilantro) at the end of the recipe. This recipe is merely a base for your imagination!

Overhead shot of green lentil daal in a bowl with a piece of ripped naan bread in the bowl

If you are looking for some more Indian inspired vegan dishes, check out my Chickpea and Spinach Curry or head on over to one of my favourite bloggers, Vegan Richa, where you can find hundreds (if not thousands!) of vegan recipes!

A bowl of green lentil daal with two forks on a white and blue mat

Green Lentil Daal

This green lentil daal recipe is Indian inspired and packed full of tasty spices.  It's ready in less than 45 minutes, made in one pot and perfect for meal prep.  It also happens to be vegan, so it's perfect for your meat free Monday!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 617kcal


  • 4 cups green lentils 800g
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 2 bay leaves or 4 curry leaves if you can find them!
  • 1 red onion finely diced
  • 2 inches ginger minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 red chilis minced
  • 27 fl. oz coconut milk (2 cans) or cream if you want it thicker. 800ml
  • 1 cup water 200 ml
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper


  • Place the lentils in a large bowl of water and set to one side.  Chop the ingredients and get your spices ready!
  • Heat the oil in large pot over a medium / high heat. Once hot, add the mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds start to pop, add in the turmeric, cumin, curry powder and bay leaves. Stir for a couple of minutes until the spices become fragrant.
  • Add in the onion, ginger, garlic and chili.  Stir so that the spice coats the onions and cook for 5 minutes until the onions start to soften.
  • Drain the lentils, and add in to the pot.  Add the coconut milk, lime juice and water and mix well.  Pop a lid on for 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, take the lid off and give a good stir, at this point you can add any added vegetables that you wish.  Cook the dish for another 10 or so minutes until excess liquid has cooked off
  • At this point, you could stir in some spinach or herbs - parsley and coriander work really well!
  • Serve with naan or rice


If you reheat the leftovers, stir in a bit of cold water to the lentils to get the right consistency
Nutritional value based on 1 of 6 servings


Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 1323mg | Fiber: 38g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 30.9mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 11mg
Tried this recipe? Pin it today!Mention @SlowTheCookDown or tag #SlowTheCookDown!

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  • Reply
    October 11, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    does this recipe call for the lentils to be already cooked?

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      October 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Tasha, no, you don’t cook the lentils first, you do want to soak them though in cold water. Do this while you chop the veggies and start cooking the base. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Where does the lime factor into this recipe?

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      August 7, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Cory, I just updated the recipe – thank you for asking! You add it in when you add the coconut milk. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2019 at 4:07 am

    5 stars
    This was delicious. My family loved it. So easy to make.

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      June 14, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      That’s so great to hear – so glad you enjoyed it! It’s one of our go to meals!

  • Reply
    Jane Saunders
    July 22, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    5 stars
    My daughter adores daal in any colour, but I’ve not come across a recipe for green before. Whenever we make Indian I always serve up some daal, since we all love it, it’s such a great source of protein and it’s so easy to make. I can’t wait to try this version.

    PS if you can lay your hands on ‘Made in India’ by Meera Sodha you’ll be able to satisfy your Indian food cravings easily at home – it’s my favourite cookbook right now – I’ve yet to make a recipe from it that hasn’t been sensational.

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      July 22, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      Hey Jane, you will have to let me know what you think about this version! I much prefer daal with green lentils, I find they keep their texture but still soak up all those flavours! I will definitely check out ‘Made In India’, it sounds exactly what I need!!

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