Red Lentil and Coconut Dal with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Beautifully spiced red lentil and coconut dal – creamy and nourishing and totally more-ish. Sprinkled with toasted seeds for extra crunch -yum!

red-lentil-and-coconut-dal-with-toasted-sunflower-seeds 1

My coconut dal is inspired by the amazing fresh coconut based curries I had the great pleasure of eating in Kerala at the end of last year. They use fresh coconut in so many delicious dishes and they have an ingenious little coconut meat shredding tool. As I don’t have one, I thought I’d use organic, unsweetened, desiccated coconut, and it worked like a dream.

I’ve got to say I’m super happy with this recipe. Not only does it taste great, it’s simple to make and it’s wholesome and nutritious. Three big ticks!

I’m also experimenting and looking into not using my usual tomatoes and garlic as the base for some of my recipes. This is another tip I learnt in India where onions, spices and water form the base of lots of curries and they’re still truly delicious.

So my super simple dal is made like this; fry onions then spices in some coconut oil, wash your red lentils, add them to the pan with water, simmer for 15 minutes then finally stir in the desiccated coconut, season, and that’s it!!! Couldn’t be simpler and absolutely delicious.

And of course I topped the dal with my new obsession–toasted sunflower seeds. Just dry fried for a few minutes until they become slightly toasted and nutty. Guaranteed to enhance any meal.

red-lentil-and-coconut-dal-with-toasted-sunflower-seeds 1a

Red Lentil and Coconut Dal with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Beautifully spiced red lentil and coconut dal - creamy and nourishing and totally more-ish. Sprinkled with toasted seeds for extra crunch -yum!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
4 servings
4.75 from 4 votes


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds


  • Add the onion to a large pan with the coconut oil and sauté for 10 minutes on a low heat. Add in the spices and fry for a further few minutes.
  • Thoroughly wash & drain the lentils.
  • Next, add the lentils and water to the pan and simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat.
  • Finally, stir add in the coconut, and season with salt & pepper.
  • Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan (medium heat) for a few minutes. Toss them occasionally and keep your eye on them as they burn quickly!
  • To serve top with toasted sunflower seeds.
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14 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight for dinner – was delicious! Added in some spinach to boost the nutrients in this cold weather. Thanks for sharing your recipes x

  2. 4 stars
    Hi, tried this recipe tonight! We thought the base flavour was delish…but is there an ingredient missing, perhaps coconut milk, or less water needed? Turned out very watery, needed more substance. Will try to perfect. Hannah 🙂

    1. Hey Hannah
      So glad you liked the flavour but sorry it came out too watery. It’s usually ok…
      Maybe just add a couple of cups at a time. Coconut milk would be very delicious!

      Love Niki xxx

  3. Wow Niki, such a simple recipe. I have all ingredients at home and can’t wait to check it out tomorrow. Thank you for informing me. Coco Janine

      1. I’ve just made this for my family topped it with roasted tomatoes. Absolutely delicious. Super easy and super tasty.

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