Vegan Brown Rice and Tomato Dhal


Growing up in a West Indian family back home in the UK, I remember being surrounded by the smells of curry and spices filling up the home most morning’s as my mum got lunch ready. She would cook a huge batch of 2-3 curry dishes each time to feed our family of 5 for what would seem to be for a lifetime of eating; by the time the mass food would be finishing, we would all be craving something entirely different.

This was a usual Indian way of living, make a lot of food in case someone came round and to feed the family for endless days so we wouldn’t go hungry, and to be honest we came to take her delicious food for granted as kid’s. Today I seem to be following my mum’s footsteps and do much the same; making enough food to last for half a week so I do not have to cook everyday after a long day’s work.

Reflecting on my current diet and shift into a vegan lifestyle, I have come to realise that the majority of mum’s dishes we ate as a child was actually pretty vegan or at best vegetarian.  Mum would make yellow rice, dhal, barji, different types of roti, pumpkin choka, stewed black eye pea curry’s and fried saheena’s with tamarind chutney on rotation. All of these recipes had no or little animal ingredients and would keep us full and energised for hours.

One of mum’s staple recipe’s that is on my own dinner rotation is Rice and Dhal, which she would cook when short on time. This simple recipe contains so much protein, iron and energy and is so easy to make. I have adapted mum’s recipe to include more veg so it bulks out and fills us up. She would often make her dhal more soup like and we would eat it with rice, bargi and a meat curry.

The red lentils are an amazing protein and I like to put lots of whatever greens I can get my hands on (silverbeet, kale or spinach) as I seem to have low iron and energy since going vegan (plus when is it ever bad to eat greens!) Make sure you season with lots of salt to taste and let me know what you think!   

Vegan Brown Rice & Tomato Dhal

Serves 4 / 10 mins Prep Time


  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Large Brown Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1” Piece of Ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 tbsp Mild Curry Powder
  • ½ tsp Chilli Flakes, Paprika or Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth or Stock
  • 1 400g Can Coconut Milk
  • 2 Large Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ½ cups Dry Red Lentils
  • 2-3 cups of Greens (Silverbeet, Kale or Spinach)
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice, cooked
  • Handful of Coriander Leaves to serve


  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over a medium heat, when hot add onion, garlic and ginger and fry until onion is clear.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, curry powder, pepper and cook for 1 minute.  
  3. Add Vegetable broth or stock, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and lentils and stir.
  4. Cover and bring to boil, reduce heat and then simmer on low heat until lentils are very soft, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, add salt to taste and stir
  6. Add greens and stir before serving.
  7. Serve Dhal with cooked Brown Rice and light sprinkle of Fresh Coriander.

Nutritional Information

1 Serving =  Calories 708

Per Serving (inc. 1 cup of brown rice) : Fat 8.74g / Saturated Fat 4.2g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 1507mg / Carbohydrate 136g / Fibre 19.6g / Sugar 11.9g / Protein 28g / Vitamin D 0mcg / Calcium 167mg / Iron 9.5mg / Potassium 2262mg / Energy (calories) 708kcals

Tomato Dhal Ingredients

Tomato Dhal Ingredients