Cook/ Easy Weeknight

Green Lentil Daal – An Easy Weeknight Meal

July 22, 2018 (Last Updated: December 4, 2019)

Last Updated on December 4, 2019 by Slow The Cook Down

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!

Jump to Recipe

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!
4.8 from 5 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
  • 1/2 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 ( more if needed)
  • 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 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.
It's important to soak the lentils before cooking them, this helps them to soften.
If, after cooking, the lentils are still a little tough, add a little more water and turn the heat to low for 15 minutes.
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
    Pia K
    August 31, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I’m trying to learn how to cook Indian food and I happen to have all the ingredients in my pantry, so this sounds like the perfect recipe to start with! Just to make sure I’ll get the flavors right, what kind of mustard seeds do you use (yellow, brown, black) or will any color do? And is there anything I should take into account if I try to make this some other time with red lentils? Is the method and cooking time the same?

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      August 31, 2020 at 6:10 pm

      Hi Pia!

      I used yellow mustard seeds. You can use black but they will be much stronger in flavor. Red lentils require less cooking time, 15-20 mins for whole red lentils and 5 to 7 minutes for split red lentils, so your daal will be quicker to make! Enjoy! I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

      • Reply
        Pia K
        September 2, 2020 at 6:40 pm

        5 stars
        I tried this and it turned out great! I made a half a batch (single-person household), used black mustard seeds (reduced the amount a bit), took the liberty of adjusting the spices along the way and added an extra 200ml of coconut cream because I craved for something super creamy. Spinach was a delicious addition to this and I can’t wait to experiment with other variations, too! Thank you so much, this became instantly one of my favourite veggie dishes ever!

        • Reply
          Slow The Cook Down
          September 2, 2020 at 6:50 pm

          Hey Pia, so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 It’s a great dish to add lots of other veggies to and super easy to adjust to your taste. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know what you thought!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Nice recipe but i think you could reduce the amount of turmeric in the recipe. I followed your instructions to the letter – it does say 1 1/2 tbsp turmeric – and it’s a bit overpowering. I work with indian people and they always tell me to use very little turmeric. I think this is just too much but otherwise tasty. Next time i make it i won’t use so much. Thank you x

    • Reply
      August 5, 2020 at 5:27 pm

      4 stars
      Maybe 1/2 tbsp of turmeric and 400 ml of water? I added pepperitos and a couple of ripe plum toms as well as parsley.

      • Reply
        Slow The Cook Down
        August 5, 2020 at 6:18 pm

        Hi Alan, thanks so much for the feedback! You are absolutely right, that’s too much turmeric!! A typo I have now corrected, thank you for letting me know! Glad you enjoyed it and will be making it again!

        • Reply
          August 6, 2020 at 1:45 pm

          Hi there,
          You’re very welcome. I’m a lentil nut so this was a lovely recipe to get to know. It’s even better the next day. Thanks so much.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Toronto better than London for world food. Lived in both and not a chance!! Way better restaurants here.

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      April 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      Don’t get me wrong, British cuisine is amazing but I do love that so many world cuisines are so easy to access in Toronto for a fraction of the price. I for sure miss British Indian and the fine dining options that are available though – not to mention Monster Munch 😉

  • Reply
    Francois Picketty
    December 31, 2019 at 5:37 am

    This recipe doesn’t seem to account for temperature at all, the first medium/high heat I used caused my mustard seeds to burn. Round two, I got all the way to the end where you are supposed to remove the lid, but the lentils were still hard – things had not had enough time to simmer and cook. I had to add some more water and take the heat down LOW for an extra 15 minutes to get things marginally soft enough to enjoy. The flavor is good, but it needs better notes about proper temperature control and the importance of slow simmering to get the lentils to soften up at the end.

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      January 5, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      Hey Francois, so sorry that thais recipe didn’t quite work out for you – it’s one of the most popular recipes on my blog and have only had good feedback. Did you soak the lentils before cooking them? – this can help them to soften. Regardless, I will add additional notes to the recipe now based on your feedback – it’s always great to hear from people that have made the recipe. I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor!

      • Reply
        Francois Picketty
        January 12, 2020 at 5:41 am

        5 stars
        Made he recipe again with your updated notes and it came out much better. Thank you taking the time to respond, you do good work.

        • Reply
          Slow The Cook Down
          January 12, 2020 at 2:52 pm

          That’s so great to hear Francois – thank you so much for letting me know, it’s really appreciated 🙂

        • Reply
          January 27, 2020 at 9:58 pm

          Yum ,I’m a brit
          & usually ,make dahl with red lentils, but today green ,as I dont have red ,live in mexico so hard to get ,been making my own curry for about 30 ,years ,since i left the uk 😊

          • Slow The Cook Down
            January 28, 2020 at 12:32 am

            Chelsea, there’s nothing quite like a British curry right?! I’m always on the look out for new curry recipes to make!

  • 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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