Ciara’s Creamy Coconutty Dahl


Time for a serious recipe TREAT guys – today I’m sharing a really good one with you. I first made this creamy dahl during my intern year for my first week of night shifts – and it was a seriously comforting meal to have ready for me to refuel with on call! Recently, in keeping with my Vegetarian Meal Prep for work lunches, I decided to try the recipe again, with a little more veggies packed in! And of course, I knew I HAD to share it with you! Usually in a restaurant you’d see Lentil Dahl variations on the menu, and I LOVE lentils, don’t get me wrong. But I’m also a massive fan of Yellow Split Peas – I buy big packs in Lidl (cheap as chips seriously!) and I prefer them in this recipe, as they keep a little crunch factor even after cooking! Trust me, when you try this you’ll see what I mean! So, let’s get to it!

Recipe (Serves 5)


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 400ml tin of coconut milk (I used Light Coconut Milk but it doesn’t matter which!)

  • 300ml water or vegetable stock

  • 1 red onion

  • 2 bell peppers

  • 1 courgette

  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves

  • 250-300g Yellow Split Peas (I used 300g for 5 servings!)

  • 200g Unsalted Cashews & Hazelnuts (you can just use one type if you want!)

  • A pinch of sea salt & black pepper



  1. Boil the kettle, empty the cashews/hazelnuts into a bowl and just about cover them with the boiled water. Leave to soak for about 15 minutes while you get cooking the dahl.

  2. Dice up the red onion, courgette and bell peppers and set aside.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent.

  4. Add your spices – garam masala, turmeric, cumin, ginger and cinnamon – and stir until the onions are coated.

  5. Next, add the chopped vegetables and yellow split peas, and cook for another 5 minutes.

  6. Add the coconut milk to the dahl, plus the water/stock. I used water this week, but stock would add a little more flavour. Mine tasted pretty damn great with water so don’t stress if you don’t have stock ‘in stock’!

  7. Stir everything up and add a little extra water/stock if you feel it needs it.

  8. Bring to the boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

  9. After 30 minutes, tip your soaked cashews/hazelnuts WITH the liquid you used for soaking into a blender cup or food processor, and blitz until you get a cream texture.

  10. Turn the heat off the dahl, add the spinach leaves and stir again until the leaves wilt.

  11. Finally, pour the cashew/hazelnut cream into the dahl. This is my FAVOURITE part – the dahl becomes super thick and a gorgeous colour too!

  12. Finished! Serve with rice, or with greens or an alternative grain of your choice! This is a GREAT recipe to make for a group, and even better for meal prep!


Pictured: Tupperware Cashew Dahl with Tofu + Broccoli

Enjoy guys! Like I said at the start, this is one of my absolute FAVOURITES to make for work lunches, as it keeps really well in the fridge, AND you just don’t get tired of it, trust me! I really hope you like it – tag me if you try it out, @theirishbalance on Instagram or Twitter!

Ciara 🙂

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