Olive Magazine
Two bowls with yellow lentils in topped with cubes of crispy fried cheese

Coconut dahl with crispy paneer

Published: June 19, 2022 at 4:11 pm
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

This creamy dahl recipe is a surprisingly low-calorie dinner. Cubes of golden paneer are served on top of gently spiced dahl. This veggie dinner is best eaten with lots of chapatis

  • Vegetarian

Make this coconut dahl for a comforting dinner, then check out more vegetarian curry recipes such as our easy spinach, chickpea & potato curry, lentil curry and sweet potato & lentil curry. We've also got plenty more dahl recipes to try.

For more veggie options, try our vegetarian curry, vegetarian chilli, vegetarian paella and other vegetarian recipes.


  • 200g red lentils
  • 400ml tin light coconut milk
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • for frying groundnut oil
  • 225g block paneer, cubed
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves, sliced garlic
  • a thumb-sized piece, cut into matchsticks ginger
  • a handful, chopped coriander
  • chapatis to serve (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Put the lentils, coconut milk, onion, tomato, chillies and turmeric in a pan with 300ml water and lots of seasoning. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer then cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • STEP 2

    Fry the paneer in a little oil until golden and crisp on all sides. Sprinkle over the garam masala, season and toss.

  • STEP 3

    Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan and fry the mustard and cumin seeds until they start to pop and become fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger, and fry until very light golden.

  • STEP 4

    Spoon the lentils into bowls, top with the paneer then spoon over the flavoured oil and spices, and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with chapatis, if you like.

More dahl ideas below:

Chickpea dahl with naans

Make a batch of this vegetarian coconut dahl with easy homemade naans to feed a crowd or freeze for later. Plus instructions on how to make the dahl in a slow cooker.

Coconut Dahl Recipe with Homemade Naans

Maharashtrian amti dahl

Olive’s Indian cooking expert, Maunika Gowardhan, shares her recipe for a classic sweet and sour vegan dahl from Maharashtra.

Maharashtrian amti dahl

Butternut squash dahl with eggs and crispy onions

Brighten up your coconut dahl with butternut squash, soft boiled eggs and crispy onions - perfect for a warming midweek meal for four.

Butternut Squash Dahl Recipe with Coconut

Black dahl with paneer-stuffed naan

Lashings of butter and cream give this dahl the X-factor. The beans need time to soak, but once it’s in the oven it looks after itself. This moreish dahl will serve eight.

Black Dal Recipe With Paneer-stuffed Naan

Yellow dahl and peanut soup with coriander

Ready in 50 minutes this wholesome dahl uses moong dal (yellow split mung beans). Moong dal are easy to cook as they don’t need prior soaking, serve this dal recipe with chopped peanuts for extra crunch.

Yellow Dal Recipe with Peanuts and Coriander

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