Red Lentil Curry — Recipes — Plantiful Coach

I grew up eating black lentils all the time, but I only really discovered red lentils as an adult. And I love them. They’re beautiful, nutritious, easy to cook, and cheap. While most legumes (especially beans) are best soaked overnight before cooking, these guys don’t need any of that forethought that organised people have. Especially split red lentils (same thing, but each bean is in two halves): their cooking time is way shorter than whole red lentils. It’s a wonderful thing for busy (or lazy) people.

This is a simple recipe for a red lentil curry: a straightforward formula that you’ll see in a lot of other Indian-inspired recipes: onion, garlic, cumin, coriander. Ginger for extra spiciness, chilli for heat, turmeric for colour, and tomatoes for a bit of acidity and depth of flavour. It’s simple and it works-taste it and you’ll know what I mean.


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cm ginger grated
  • 2 tsp curry powder choose your own heat
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 6 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes optional
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

To serve

  • 1 cup rice basmati is delicious, brown rice is healthier
  • 1 handful fresh coriander chopped


  • Rinse the lentils with fresh water, and put the rice on to cook while you prepare the curry.
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add the chopped onion.
  • Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for a few minutes (watch that the garlic doesn’t burn).
  • Add the curry powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and tumeric, and saute for a minute or two.
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, red chilli flakes (if using) and lentils.
  • Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and leave simmering for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft, stirring every few minutes.
  • Before serving, stir in the coconut cream and lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy with cooked rice, and a garnish of chopped cilantro.

Originally published at on May 7, 2020.




Plantiful Coach, 9 years in the making.

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Muriel Gravenor

Muriel Gravenor

Plantiful Coach, 9 years in the making.

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