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Vegan Red Lentil Dal (No Tomato or Coconut)

Vegan Red Lentil Dal (No Tomato or Coconut)

By Lauren 12 Comments

Our Favorite Vegan Red Lentil Dal – This is my version of the popular Indian recipe, made with red lentils and warming spices, like ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. I’ve worked on this particular recipe for quite some time, and our family loves it!

What is red lentil dal?

Dal, a thick, lentil-based stew, of sorts, is a popular Indian dish (also spelled dahl or dhal). It ranks as our all-around favorite meatless meal here at the Goslin house.

I first discovered dal on a vegan website over ten years ago now, at a time in my life when my allergies were pretty bad. Lentils were among the few foods I could eat.

I lived with my mom at the time and would make this for us a few times a week. It’s delicious served with a side of fluffy brown rice.

The recipe has remained a favorite with me, and I now make it for my family!

Dal without tomatoes or coconut

While most dal recipes call for tomatoes, coconut milk, or both, I wanted a more simple, allergy-friendly version.

Tomatoes are something we limit here, due to allergies, and I already consume SO much coconut milk.

I love the unadulterated taste of creamy lentils, and, for my taste, this recipe can be perfected no more!

Seems like something must be right, because this is one of maybe two meatless meals my husband eats that actually fills him up.

Because he is a 200-pound plus guy, that isn’t an easy task!

I still enjoy it with warm brown rice or even quinoa, but I think our favorite accompaniment is my Homemade Spelt Flour Naan.

The Vegan Meal My Carnivorous Husband Loves!

Creamy and flavorful red lentil dal recipe.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time25 mins

Course: Entree

Cuisine: Dal

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 205kcal

Author: Lauren Goslin


  • 1 T . coconut or olive oil
  • 1 c . yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 T . fresh ginger , grated or minced
  • 1 1/2 c . red lentils , rinsed well
  • 1 t . cumin
  • 1 t . coriander
  • 1/2 t . turmeric
  • 1/4 t . cardamom
  • 1/8 t . cinnamon
  • 1/8 t . cayenne , or to taste
  • 1-1 1/2 t . sea salt , added at the end of cooking
  • 2-3 c . water
  • 1 (packed) c. dark leafy greens, such as spinach or chard


  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan.

  • Add in onion and saute 3-5 minutes.

  • Add in garlic and ginger and cook ~30 seconds.

  • Add in remaining spices (cumin-cayenne) and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  • Stir in lentils and enough water to cover the lentils by about 1/2 inch.

  • Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes.

  • Stir the pot often, as this helps the lentils to break down.

  • Add in more water if needed as the cooking process continues.

  • Dal is ready when the lentils are creamy and almost pureed.

  • Stir in dark greens and salt (to taste) and let mixture heat through until the greens wilt.

  • Serve with brown rice or naan on the side.


Nutrition info based on using olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, and spinach. WW SmartPoints: 5


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.2g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3.1g | Sugar: 1.9g


I usually use split red lentils for this recipe, but the whole red lentils work as well.

Some of the items I use in this recipe include:

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