My Mum’s Coconut Dhal

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Settler's Cookbook

By Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Published 2009

  • About


  • ½ cup red masoor dhal
  • ½ cup channa dhal
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt and lime juice to taste
  • ½ cup hulled moong dhal
  • ½ packet coconut cream – the block variety
  • 2 green chillies, slashed open
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Lots of chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved


  • Boil the dhals in salted water until cooked but not totally mushy – the water should stay to about 3 inches above the lentils.
  • Add the coconut and simmer further for about five minutes (the block will start to melt).
  • Heat the oil in a small pan.
  • Throw in the chillies and cumin. When you hear the seeds cracking, add all the ingredients apart from the salt, lime juice and eggs, and cook gently for fifteen minutes.
  • Meanwhile, with a hand whisk, mix and mash the dhal until it looks a little like porridge.
  • Add the tomato mixture and simmer for ten minutes.
  • Add lime juice and salt to taste, then float the eggs in the mixture.
  • Eat piled on to thick slices of bread or with plain rice.