Vegetable coconut dhal

Based on vegetables rather than lentils, this makes a delicious meal for the whole family however be forewarned - it is a fairly high maintenance meal taking roughly 1 hour to prepare and cook. It is definitely worth the effort but may not be one you can achieve during the week.

I usually make double the quantity and freeze a couple of portions for another time to make the effort worthwhile.

If served with a small amount of quinoa/rice then this meal offers a complete protein source.

Some great accompaniments to this dish are big chips (papadum) and mango chutney.


5 +                           


 15 minutes          


40 minutes


Gluten, Casein




90g (1/3 cup) split red lentils

2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil if you want to cook a dairy free meal

½ onion, finely diced

Mango chutney

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

Large pinch each of ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and garam masala

½ small carrot, finely diced

100g jap/butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and finely diced

100g sweet potato, peeled and finely diced

½ apple, peeled, core removed and finely diced

1 teaspoon dulse flakes (seaweed) and a 2cm strip Kombu (seaweed), cut into rough pieces (optional extras to add a nutritional boost)

250ml (1 cup) vegetable stock

250ml (1 cup) coconut milk

1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves and stems

100g cauliflower, cut into small pieces

60g green beans cut into small pieces

40g (1/4 cup) fresh or frozen peas

1 teaspoon fish sauce

Squeeze of lime juice



  1. Check through the lentils for any stones, and rinse well until water runs clear

  2. Heat the ghee/coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat

  3. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes

  4. Stir in the spices, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, lentils, dulse flakes, Kombu, stock, coconut milk and 3 teaspoons of the chopped coriander

  5. Make sure the Kombu is submerged in liquid, Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 15-18 minutes

  6. Add the cauliflower, green beans and peas, then simmer, uncovered, stirring from time to time, for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender

  7. Remove from the heat and mash any bits of Kombu into the stew

  8. Stir in the fish sauce, remaining coriander and the lime juice 

Adapted from Jude Blereau’s book Wholefood for Children