Creamy Coconut Dal with Tarka and Mini Flatbreads

A creamy bowl of coconut dal – lightly spiced coconut lentils, topped with sticky spiced caramelised onions. Serve with fluffy flatbreads, gorgeous.

creamy-coconut-dal-with-tarka-and-mini-flatbreads 1

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 it’s 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.

creamy-coconut-dal-with-tarka-and-mini-flatbreads 1a

Creamy Coconut Dal with Tarka and Mini Flatbreads

A creamy bowl of coconut dal - lightly spiced coconut lentils, topped with sticky spiced caramelised onions. Serve with fluffy flatbreads, gorgeous.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 4
5 from 2 votes


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
  • 300 g 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

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


  • Add the oil to a small frying pan with the onion. Fry on a low heat for approx 5 minutes, then add in the garlic.
  • Fry for a further 5 -7 minutes until soft and caramelised, then add in the spices. Fry a further 3 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and season with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Add the oil to a large frying pan and heat to a medium heat. Add in the mustard seeds. When they pop, add in the cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric and chilli flakes.
  • Stir for a few seconds, then add the onion. Fry for approx 8-10 minutes on a low to medium heat until soft and browning.
  • 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.
  • Stir well, then turn down the heat and put the lid on the pan.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.
  • Season well with salt, pepper, garam masala.

For the flatbreads

  • In a bowl, add the flour, yogurt and salt. Stir to combine until it comes together, then transfer to a floured board.
  • Knead for a few minutes until you get a springy dough.
  • Heat a large griddle pan or frying pan to medium.
  • Divide the dough into 8, then roll out the first flatbread.
  • 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.
  • Repeat.

To serve

  • Top the dal with Tarka and serve with flatbreads.
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More Recipes with Lentils, Coconut Liquids or Onions

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4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Deeelicious, Niki! I loved the daal!! I love your curry and Indian recipes, please do keep them coming!

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