Coconut Daal with Brown Rice

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

This recipe was kindly given to me by the lovely Salima Saunders, Salima is a chef and caterer specializing in vibrant vegetarian cooking and healthier baking. Healthy doesn't ever mean boring for this cook! For Salima, food is love, and she has a passion for using her food to bring everyone together around the table and foster community building.


Daal is a staple food in most Indian households around the world. My mom would make daal for us at least once a week when I was growing up, and now I associate it with comfort and warmth. I now make it for my husband and myself weekly as an easy pantry recipe when we are low on fresh produce. Daal is either eaten with rice or with roti, and each region in India has a slightly different variation of how they use daal. This particular type of daal, the yellow split peas, can be found in Indian grocery stores and natural foods stores.


1 cup yellow split lentils (soaked overnight)

2 cups of water

1 tbsp. coconut oil

½ tsp salt

1 chopped tomato

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tsp crushed ginger

½ cup chopped cilantro

Chopped peanuts for topping

2 cups cooked brown rice

  1. Boil the soaked lentils in 2 cups of water

  2. While the daal is cooking, use a deep pot to sauté the tomato in the coconut oil

  3. Add the garlic, ginger, salt, and cilantro to the tomato mixture

  4. After a few minutes, add in the coconut milk and cooked daal

  5. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes

  6. Serve daal with brown rice and top with peanuts and more cilantro if desired

You can find Salima experimenting in the kitchen and navigating LA's many farmer's markets and ethnic grocery stores @livefullychef or reach her by email at

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