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Coconut Black Lentil Curry (Vegan Dal Makhani)

Coconut Black Lentil Curry

The Endless Meal
Coconut Black Lentil Curry is a creamy and crazy delicious vegan curry recipe. Using coconut milk instead of heavy cream keeps this buttery dal makhani dairy free without losing any of the richness you crave. We made it without the ginger and used regular chickpeas instead of black, and it was great paired with short-grain brown rice.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 366 kcal


  • 1 cup dried whole urad dal
  • ¼ cup dried black chickpeas see notes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion finely minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 tsp cumin seads
  • 2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 3 medium tomatos finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric and chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 15 oz can of coconut milk


  • Place the urad dal and black chickpeas in a pot and cover with a few inches of water. Set aside to soak for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
  • Drain the water from the pot and add fresh water. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pot, and let it cook until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the oil begins to glisten, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of water, the garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and the cooked urad lentils and black chickpeas to the pan and stir. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Using the back of a spoon, mash a few of the lentils. Stir in the coconut milk and heat through. Taste and add more salt if you'd like.


Giant Steps Notes:
We made it without ginger and with regular chickpeas instead of black. 
We paired it with a little short-grain brown rice.
Author Notes: 
Black chickpeas, also known as Kala channa or Bengal Gram, are similar to regular chickpeas only smaller and brown in color. I've only ever been able to find dried black chickpeas. If you can't find them, you can substitute regular chickpeas. If you sub canned chickpeas you will not need to cook them.
Pair with steamed basmati rice or cauliflower rice

Serving: 1 serving = ¼ of the recipe
calories: 366kcal, carbohydrates: 46g, protein: 16g, fat: 13g, saturated fat: 10g, polyunsaturated fat: 1g, monounsaturated fat: 1g, sodium: 689mg, potassium: 453mg, fiber: 15g, sugar: 5g, vitamin a: 872IU, vitamin c: 19mg, calcium: 87mg, iron: 6mg