Creamy coconut dal with tarka and mini flatbreads

This is my go-to fail safe creamy soul soothing coconut dal. There’s nothing quite like a lovely bowl of spiced lentils in times of need. And this has everything – lightly spiced creamy coconutty lentils, topped with sticky spiced caramelised onions. Serve with little fluffy flatbreads, just gorgeous.

This one is adapted from a version in my first book ‘Rebel Recipes’ and has been many many times. But its the topping of the tarka – spices and caramelised onions which elevates this dish from good to amazing! It adds another layer of flavour and texture, just stir it in at the end. 

I hope you love this comforting bowl of goodness, love, Niki xxx

I'd love to know if you made this recipe.

Use #RebelRecipes and tag @RebelRecipes



  4 servings
  15 minutes preparation time
  30 minutes cook time


For the Tarka topping 

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion sliced into strips 
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced 
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 2 tsp  mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • Pinch sea salt 

For the dal 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 large onion – roughly chopped
  • 1 knob ginger grated 
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced 
  • 15 cherry to tomatoes or 3 tomatoes chopped 
  • 300g red lentils rinsed 
  • 1 can coconut milk  
  • Plus 850ml veg stock

Add at the end 

  • 1-2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala 

For the flatbreads;

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 150g plant based natural yogurt
  • Big pinch sea salt


To make the tarka;

  1. Add the oil to a small frying pan with the onion. Fry on a low heat for aprox 5 minutes then add in the garlic.
  2. Fry for a further 5 -7 minutes until soft and caramelised, then add in the spices. Fry a a further 3 minutes. 
  3. Turn off the heat and season with a pinch of sea salt. 
  4. Set aside.

For the dal;

  1. Firstly add the oil to a large frying pan and heat to a medium heat. Add in the mustard seeds. When they start to pop add in the cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric and chilli flakes. Stir for a few seconds then add the onion. Fry for aprox 8-10 minutes on a low to medium heat until soft and browning.
  2. Add in the garlic and ginger and stir for another few minutes, then the chopped tomatoes. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes then add the lentils, water and coconut milk. 
  3. Stir well then turn down the heat and put the lid on the pan. 
  4. Simmer for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed. 
  5. Season well with salt, pepper, garam masala.

For the flatbreads;

  1. In a bowl, add the flour, yogurt and salt. Stir to combine until it comes together then transfer to a floured board. 
  2. Knead for a few minutes until you get a springy dough.
  3. Heat a large griddle pan or frying pan to medium. 
  4. Divide the dough into 8 then roll out the first flatbread. 
  5. Pop it on the griddle pan and allow to cook and char a little on that side then flip to cook to on the other side. 
  6. Repeat. 

To serve; 

  1. Top the dal with Tarka and serve with flatbreads

Thank you so much for following my blog and cooking my recipes!

Did you know that I have a new cookbook?

It's called Rebel Recipes and I'm so proud of it. If you like my recipes I know you'll love my cookbook - It took me over a year to develop (and years in the making) and it's packed with deliciously vibrant veg packed recipes!


Here's a sneak peak...


  1. Maneesha on May 24, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Deeelicious, Niki! I loved the daal!! I love your curry and Indian recipes, please do keep them coming!

    • Niki on August 4, 2022 at 6:22 pm

      I will!
      Very happy you liked!
      Much love, Niki xxx

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Recipe Tags: Lentils coconut dal flatbreads


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