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Chana Dal with Cauliflower, Cashews and Coconut Milk comes together in 35 minutes and feeds a small crowd. Excellent for dinner or leftovers for lunch. Vegan + Gluten Free

Chana Dal with Cauliflower and Coconut Milk

A not so traditional recipe, yet packed with flavors reminiscent of Indian cuisine. The rice and chana dal can be cooked ahead for weekly meal planning, so this recipe comes together with ease on those busy weekday evenings. Freezes well and makes excellent leftovers. Vegan + Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5 -6 Servings
Calories 560kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


  • 3/4 C Chana Dal soaked for at least one hour or overnight * (see note), 166g
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 1 C Whole Raw Cashews 150g
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Coconut Oil virgin, unrefined
  • 2 C Yellow Onion diced (about 1 large onion), 200g
  • 1 Tbs Grated Ginger use a microplane
  • 1-2 Serrano Pepper minced ** (see note), use 2 for more heat
  • 2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 1 Tbs Grated Garlic use a microplane
  • 2 lbs Cauliflower trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (about 6 cups), 936g
  • 2 C Carrots quartered and diced, 260g
  • 1, 400 mL Can Coconut Milk full fat
  • 1-2 Tbs Tamari to taste

Serve With:

  • Brown basmati or jasmine rice
  • Chopped cashews
  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Sriracha


  • In a small sauce pot, add 2 1/4 C (500g) water, chana dal and bayleaf. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain, discard bayleaf and set aside. (this can be made up to two days in advance).
  • Toast cashews in a 350F (180C) oven for 15 minutes. Rough chop a hand-full for garnish. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, while the dal and cashews are cooking, in a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat the coconut oil until shimmering. Add the onion, ginger, pepper, mustard seeds and sea salt. Cook on medium-low stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add the cumin, turmeric, cardamom, grated garlic and 1 Tbs water. Cook on low, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cauliflower and 1-2 Tbs of water. Stir, cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower and carrots are tender. Add the chana dal and coconut milk, stir and cook on low to warm through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the whole cashews. Stir in the Tamari to taste.
  • Serve with rice, chopped cashews, cilantro and lime. A squeeze of Sriracha is nice for those who love the spicy.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to one month.


*Chickpeas can be subbed for Chana Dal in this recipe.
**Peppers can vary in their heat. Before adding the serrano to the pot, test it for heat and adjust to your taste.
Recipe inspired by Heart of the Plate.


Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Sodium: 892mg | Potassium: 1214mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 8575IU | Vitamin C: 98mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 6mg