Creamy, tasty and vegan! This dhal has lovely warming flavours and goes really well with basmati or coconut rice. Enjoy it for lunch or dinner.

Kate Petty from the Physical Activity and Wellbeing team shares a healthy savoury recipe for you to try at home.

Creamy coconut and red lentil dhal with crispy roasted aubergine

Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 35-40 mins Quantity: serves 3-4

coconut dhal with rice and broccoli


For the dhal:

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 200g red lentils
  • 35g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400ml coconut milk or veg stock also works if you don’t want to use/have coconut milk

For the aubergine:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic granules


    1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees fan
    2. Cut the aubergine into small chunks. Add the rest of the aubergine ingredients into a large bowl and add some salt and pepper. Add the chopped aubergine and mix until well coated
    3. Melt some coconut oil in a baking tray and then add the aubergine and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until softened, browned and it’s got a caramelised look to it
    4. Meanwhile, for the dhal, heat a pan and melt some coconut oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for around 5 minutes
    5. Add the ginger and cook for another 3 minutes. Then add the spices, salt, pepper, tomato purée and red lentils, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes
    6. Add the coconut milk, stir and bring to the bowl and then reduce to a medium heat. Leave to simmer for around 20 mins making sure you stir regularly. Add some hot water if it’s thickening too quickly and you want to loosen it. The dhal is ready once the lentils are soft and the sauce is thick
    7. Serve up the dhal and place some of the roasted aubergine on top. I served it with some basmati rice and broccoli. Eat up and enjoy!

Hope you like the look and sound of this one. It works great for lunch or dinner and is lovely and creamy despite containing no cream!