Veggie Daal

I love cooking and eating daal.  It’s a favourite autumn and winter one-bowl dinners, plus there are always leftovers, which improve overnight (or freeze for a ready-meal).

This easy one-wok recipe is so comforting, nutritious and vegan. Another slow cook to enjoy over a weekend.

Once the food prep is done, it basically cooks itself and is very happy to sit and wait for your mealtime.

I add extra veggies to increase the vitamin, mineral and fibre intake plus flavour!

Portions: 4 generous
Prep and Cook Time: Around an hour
Cookware: A wok and rice saucepan

  • 100g rice, of choice – cooked as per instructions and kept warm
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 onions – finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves – crushed
  • 2cm ginger root – chopped or grated
  • 1 red chilli – chopped or 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 carrot – finely diced
  • 1 small sweet potato – peeled and finely chopped
  • 300 red lentils
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml vegetable stock (1 cube)
  • 200g creamed coconut – dissolved in 400ml hot water or 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 2 handfuls spinach leaves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • coriander to taste
  • a handful of salted peanuts – lightly crushed


Firstly, in the wok, dry toast the whole spices – cumin, coriander and mustard seeds. This only takes 2 – 3 minutes until they release their aromas, then crush with a mortar and pestle. Add to the ground spices and put aside.

Heat a tbsp of oil in the wok and gently sauté the onions until soft, for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, mix and cook for 1 minute. Next, add the spices and combine all your seasonings whilst gently cooking for 2 minutes.

After 2 minutes, add the carrot and sweet potato and coat in the seasonings.
Then, add the lentils, tomatoes and stock and give a big stir.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, cover with a lid but stir occasionally.

After 20 minutes, add the coconut water, spinach and chopped coriander to taste, stir and simmer for another 20 – 30 mins.

After 30 minutes, check that lentils and veggies are cooked and melted into the daal. Season to taste with salt and chilli flakes, as required. If you like garam masala, stir in 1/2 tsp now, to enhance the flavour.

Turn off heat and let your daal sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Spoon the warm rice and daal into your bowls and sprinkle with crushed peanuts and coriander leaves, if liked. I love to top with a spoon of mango chutney and natural yogurt.


You won’t see coriander in my finished bowl as, although I’m a lover of the herb, my partner really isn’t so I don’t always have it at home.