Red lentil dhal with coconut milk and quail eggs

Ramona's Cuisine -


I did mention that this recipe serves six and it does indeed if served as a side dish but increase the quantities to approx 500g lentils if you intend to make it as a main dish.
Having said this, this dhal can be served later or the next day reheated or even cold so if you have any leftover it’s great the next day!
My favorite way to make this is to grind 4-5 pepper corns with one roughly chopped onion and the garlic into a mortar with a nice heavy pestle. The taste this adds to the dish is surreal.
Also, to add to this, I sometimes caramelize some onion and add at the very end.


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4 people
5 Min
30 Min
Slow Cooker Crock Pot


  • ·
    380 g red split lentils dry amount
  • ·
    220 ml coconut milk (1/2 can)*
  • ·
    16 quail eggs boiled separately – optional
  • ·
    2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ·
    2 onions plus extra to caramelise if wished to do
  • ·
    1 green chilli optional
  • ·
    2 tbsp crème fraîche optional – leave out for a vegan option
  • ·
    3 garlic cloves (crushed and finely chopped)
  • ·
    1 pinch fennel seeds be generous
  • ·
    1 pinch cumin seeds a generous pinch
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    1/2 tsp mustard seeds plus extra for tempering *
  • ·
    10-15 curry leaves fresh
  • ·
    1 tsp turmeric powder or freshly grated*
  • ·
    1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground *
  • ·
    fresh lemon wedges to serve
  • ·
    some extra water or vegetable stock

How to Make Red lentil dhal with coconut milk and quail eggs


  1. Start by boiling the eggs – quail eggs boil in 1 or 2 minutes and the regular eggs boil in 4-8 minutes depending on whether you want them. I love them hard boiled for this recipe.
  2. Meanwhile in a pan on medium fire, add the coconut oil (you can leave 1 tbsp for frying some onion if you want to do that later separately to add at the end). Add the seeds, garlic and onions, turmeric and the curry leaves. Sweat these for a good 2 min stirring occasionally. Add a drizzle of coconut milk or water to avoid frying.
  3. Put the rinsed lentils and the coconut milk in season and simmer for about 20 min.
  4. You might need to add some more water in between ( approx 100-150mto bring to the desired consistency. Add the creme fraîche now if you choose to use. Add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
  5. Serve garnished with the quail eggs, some chilli flakes some fresh herbs (coriander or parsley).
  6. Additionally, if desired, do the tempering by frying one onion in 1 to 3 tbsp coconut or regular oil until caramelised or nice and crispy. Towards the end add 10-15 curry leaves and the extra 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. Sizzle these for 30 seconds. Sprinkle this over the lentils and serve as desired.

Printable Recipe Card

About Red lentil dhal with coconut milk and quail eggs

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Main Ingredient: Eggs
Regional Style: Asian

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