Swede & Coconut Daal

Cooking time
Serves4-6 people

This Anglicized daal is cosier than a pair of woolly slippers. Makes a wonderful bed for whole roasted pheasant, or stay veggie and serve with rice, fried onions and naan bread.

9 ratings
layout 1 comment


  • A gloss of olive or coconut oil
  • 1 mug of finely diced swede, carrot or squash
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole red chilli
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 mug of red lentils or yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 1 finely diced onion or 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 mug of coconut milk
  • 3 mugs of water
  • 1 lime or lemon, zest and juice
  • A handful of dessicated coconut and/or almonds, toasted
  • A large handful of fresh coriander

FOR PHEASANT TO PERCH ON TOP: Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°C/Gas 6. Unwrap your bird(s) to let it/them warm up to room temperature. Season the pheasant all over. Add a nugget of the butter and a splash of olive oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the pheasants all over. Pop them in the oven. The pheasant will need about 30 mins, depending on its size. If it's quite a plump bird that looks more like a small chicken, add another 5-10 mins. It will be done when you can pull the leg away from the breast with ease and there is no sign of pinky/red flesh when you do.

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1. Gloss a hot pan little oil. Add your diced swede. Season. Sizzle till just softened and starting to colour up a bit.
2. Add the bay, chilli and cinnamon. Swirl in the lentils, onion/garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander seed. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Pop a lid on. Simmer for 45 mins or till all the liquid is absorbed into the lentils. Give the mix a good whisk every 10 mins or so. Trickle in a little more water as and when needed.
3. Taste. Whip in more spices if you like. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Finish with a hit of lime/lemon zest, a squeeze of juice, toasted coconut and/or almonds and fresh coriander.
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Absolute go to recipe, loved by old and very, very small. Would recommend as an essential first food dish for anyone weaning their babies. Dial down the chili a notch for the very little. LOVE it.