Masor dal [gently spiced lentils with an Indian flair] with awesome coconut rice

I firmly believe I lived many lives in India – I love that cuisine so much! Besides, the variety of Indian vegetarian meals that are easily veganizable is a heavens-send for anyone bored of traditional rice and beans for their plant protein intake.

Make this meal. Now. Make a lot, and freeze out portions. Your future, pressed for time self will thank you 🙂 The recipe looks a bit long, don’t let this deter you, it’s just that there’s a bunch of spices.


For the dal (lentils):

  • 2c+2 TBSP red lentils, dry
  • Water, as needed
  • Vegan butter and/or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2.5 tsp coriander, ground
  • 2.5 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes (optional but gives a nice kick that wakes up all the other flavors)
  • 1 tsp cardamom, ground
  •  2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice (or sub rice vinegar, or regular vinegar)
  • 1 small cup coconut milk (not super full, from a carton or from a can depending on how much fat you want to add!)

For the coconut rice:

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3/4c brown Basmati rice, dry
  • 1c coconut milk (light OK)
  • 1c water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP shredded coconut


  • Start with the rice: combine all ingredients in a pan, stir over high heat until it boils, reduce hest to low and fit a tight lid on pan, leave on for 45 min to an hour, until all liquids are absorbe
  • Place lentils in a saucepan, add just enough water with the 3/4 tsp salt to cover
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer until soft (20-25min); keep an eye on water level, add more if necessary
  • Blend all the spices together, toast over low heat in a  dry frying pan, until warm and fragrant (takes a couple minutes); set aside
  • Add vegan butter or oil to the same pan and fry onion + garlic, add spices and mix gently
  • Combine cooked lentils (with their liquid) to spices mix, stir gently, add lemon /vinegar, adjust salt, add coconut milk and heat gently right before serving.