A Taste of India – Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl

I am finally getting a chance to sit down and reminisce a little bit about my trip to India! Most of you know I had the opportunity to go for a medical mission in the Bengal region of India, I also had some time to explore the region as well as the excitement of the city of Kolkata. The seriously incredible cuisine and the beautiful hospitality of the Indian people has truly transformed me! As well, it’s what you’ve all been waiting and asking for… I am bringing you a delicious recipe that will bring India to your own table, no need for the 2 days of travel! It was ridiculously difficult to know where to begin on what recipe to create, there are so many flavours and dishes that I fell in absolute love with in India, choosing just one to bring to you today seemed literally impossible. In the end I decided to keep it simple and traditional with a dahl, a Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl to be more precise!

You are probably wondering, what the heck is dahl!? Dahl is a very common dish in India, usually served at pretty much every meal and incorporates some type of legume such as lentils, split peas or beans, it is then transformed into a punch you in the face (in a good way) with flavour, stew or soup! The flavours and presentation of dahl changes greatly from region to region in India, I was in the Bengal region and a lot of the dahl had a sweet undertone with coconut influence. I LOVE LOVE coconut and decided to elevate this recipe by adding shredded coconut to the stew itself, as well as start with some coconut oil for richness and finish with some hearty coconut milk for depth. I am so thrilled to share this Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl recipe with all of you, it turned out better than I could have expected!

I’m sure you have all had Indian food locally before (if you haven’t, drop what you are doing and go, now!) they are truly masters of spice and flavour combinations. The depth of flavour and complex layers in each dish fascinate me every time I take a bite, I am always mesmerized on how so many spices in a dish can meld and compliment one another, creating and delivering such a perfect bite! One of my main goals was to stock up on local spices in the markets, I hit the jackpot in the Kolkata wholesale market! My friend and I bought years worth of spices for around $10, my suitcase smelled of a fragrant spice bazaar everywhere I went thereafter, I’m surprised I got through the airport at all!

So back to the Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl I have created for all of you to try! I realize not all of you just lugged pounds of foreign spice back and you may not have an overly developed spice pantry, so I tried to keep the spice count as minimal in this recipe as I could, without sacrificing the flavour. So hopefully most of you can try and fall in love with this Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl recipe I have come up with! Dahl is typically eaten with a flatbread of some kind, na’an or roti are popular, as well as rice, to assist you in mopping up every last drop of succulent dahl on your plate! I had it for dinner over top of butter sautéed kale and it did not disappoint, so good. So here is the recipe and how to make it, in 30 minutes you’ll have yourself an Indian Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl feast!


Makes 4 servings:

1 cup dried red lentils – rinsed & drained

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cumin seed or 1/2 tsp dried cumin powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder

2 green cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp red chili powder

2 cloves garlic – thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 medium yellow onion – diced

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup lite coconut milk

Large handful of chopped kale

Get Cooking: 

5 minutes prep, 30 minutes cook time.

Heat coconut oil in deep sauce pot over medium/low heat.

Add all your spices except garlic, bay leaf & salt, sauté until fragrant approximately 2 minutes. Watch these closely, spices burn easily!

Add diced onion & salt to spices, saute for 3-5 minutes, until soft.

Add thinly sliced garlic and shredded coconut to mixture, sauté for 3-5 minutes, then add rinsed lentils, mix until well combined.

Pour in your stock and coconut milk, mix thoroughly, add your bay leaf & kale, bring to a boil then decreased heat to simmer, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until your lentils are soft and a thick stew has formed.

Serve with your fav vessel to mop up all that flavour! Flat bread or rice, or some sautéed spinach/kale. Keeps very well in the fridge for a few days.

I hope I have brought a little taste of India to your plates, if you love it, share it with those you love! Thanks for trying my recipes and all your support in my food & travel blogging journey. Feel free to share on Facebook or Instagram! XOXO

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