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a white bowl with orange vegan dal and white rice on a yellow napkin cookie sheet background
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4.55 from 74 votes

Spicy Coconut Red Lentil Dal (Instant Pot + Stovetop)

Cozy up with this quick, easy, & tasty one pot spicy coconut red lentil dahl that is made with red lentils, coconut milk, tomatoes, garlic, onion and the perfect blend of Indian spices. It makes a most delicious gluten-free, vegan dish served alongside some basmati rice or naan bread! You can make this easy dal in the Instant Pot pressure cooker or on the stovetop!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Entrées, Instant Pot, Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 366kcal
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup red lentils dry
  • 3 cups water 2 cups for Instant Pot
  • 1 tbs shredded coconut
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 400 mL can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • to taste sea salt


  • Stovetop Method
  • Heat coconut oil in a large pot or deep skillet over medium heat.
  • Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until onions are clear and beginning to brown on edges.
  • Turn heat to high and add lentils and water.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer.
  • Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.
  • Stir in shredded coconut, coconut sugar, spices, coconut milk and tomatoes.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!
  • Instant Pot Method
  • Turn on saute function on pressure cooker.
  • Place oil, garlic and onion into pot. Saute for 5 minutes.
  • Press ‘Cancel’.
  • Stir in lentils, 2 cups water, coconut, sugar, spices, and tomatoes (omit the coconut milk!).
  • Secure the lid and set on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 more minutes.
  • Release the pressure and remove the lid.
  • Stir in coconut milk. Salt to taste.
  • Serve as is, or if you desire a thicker, creamier dal, press saute and saute until desired consistency. Keep in mind a dal will thicken as it cools.
  • Serve and enjoy!



Please see the 'Tips' section above in the post for more information.
You might also love our Adzuki Bean Coconut Curry, collection of Cheap Vegetarian Meals or Aubergine Curry!
Also see: 35 Best Coconut Milk Recipes.
This is excellent served alongside childa!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 416mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g