Spicy coconut dhal

Spicy coconut dhal

The Medicinal Chef
Martin Poole

This is a fantastic fusion dish. It has the texture and appearance of a traditional Indian dhal, but the inclusion of lemongrass gives it a Thai-Malay twist, and the end result is a true Asian fusion. Warning – this dish is addictive!


Quantity Ingredient
2 fresh lemongrass stalks
olive oil, for cooking
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
100g red lentils
200ml coconut milk
400ml vegetable stock, hot
small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, thinly sliced, (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges
sea salt
black pepper


  1. Start by bashing the lemongrass. Use a rolling pin or something with plenty of weight behind it – this will split and bruise the stalk and allow the wonderful fresh oils to seep out of the lemongrass and into the dish.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic, chilli and lemongrass and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the lentils and coconut milk and simmer for 3–4 minutes.
  3. Start adding the vegetable stock, little by little. Keep adding the stock until the lentils have softened and partially broken down, which usually takes about 20–25 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle over the coriander and red chilli, and serve immediately with the lime wedges on the side. It’s great with quinoa with some goji berries, fresh coriander and lime juice stirred through it.

Good for

  • Heart & circulation: High blood pressure, High cholesterol

    Digestive system: Constipation
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