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Swede and coconut daal

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Daal makes a great winter warmer and this recipe is cosier than a pair of woolly slippers and tastes miles better, too.

Swede and Coconut Dahl

If you’re going vegan this Veganuary, you won’t regret giving this winter daal dish a try. Although daal is a traditional Indian dish, this Anglicised version puts local seasonal veg at centre stage, meaning that you can keep your main ingredients nice and local, cutting down the air miles, while making the most of a dish that’s hearty and packed with nutrition. Serve it for lunch with rice, fried onions and naan bread, and it’s guaranteed to keep you going for the rest of the day.

This recipe is extracted from How to Eat Brilliantly Every Day by Abel and Cole (Ebury Press, £18.99).



  • A gloss of olive or coconut oil
  • Swede, carrot or squash 210g, finely diced
  • Bay leaves 2
  • Whole red chilli 1
  • Cinnamon stick 1
  • Red lentils or yellow split peas 280g
  • Onion 1, rinsed and finely diced, or 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Ginger 1 tbsp, freshly grated
  • Cumin seeds 2 tsp
  • Ground coriander 1 tsp
  • Coconut milk 350ml
  • Water 1 litre
  • Zest and juice of lime or lemon 1
  • Dessicated coconut and/or almonds, toasted a handful
  • Fresh coriander a large handful
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Step 1

    Gloss a large hot pan with a little oil. Add your diced swede, carrot or squash. Season. Sizzle till just softened and starting to colour a bit.

  • Step 2

    Add the bay leaves, chilli and cinnamon stick. Swirl in the lentils, onion or garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Pop a lid on.

  • Step 3

    Simmer for 45 mins or till all the liquid is absorbed into the lentils. Give it a good stir every 10 mins or so. Trickle in a little more water as and when needed.

  • Step 4

    Taste. Whip in more spices if you like. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with a hit of lime or lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, toasted coconut and/or almonds, and fresh coriander.  Serve with rice, fried onions and naan bread.

This recipe is extracted from How to Eat Brilliantly Every Day by Abel and Cole (Ebury Press, £18.99). Photography by Gary Congress.

How to Eat Brilliantly Every Day cookbook