My method for coconut lentil curry

I love making lentil curry because it it's easy, nutritious, delicious, and kid-approved. Unlike beans, lentils don't need to soak or be pre-cooked, so you can make it without planning ahead. You can make lentil curry with red lentils but today I'm sharing my method for making lentils that hold their shape after cooking (brown, green, etc).

This is a customizable method. I think you need something acidic and a source of fat in one-pot meals like this - I generally use tomatoes and coconut milk in lentil curry, but you could use lemon or lime juice and nut or seed butter instead, to suit your preferences and what you have on hand. A dollop of vegan butter would also be good (Indians tend to use ghee). 

Here's my method - this isn't written like a normal recipe but I hold that helps convey to you how utterly versatile it is! I don't usually measure and it always turns out great. There's a zillion great recipes out there on the interwebz that are similar if you need something with more specific measurements. 

Coconut lentil curry

Sauté some chopped onion til soft, then add some minced garlic and curry powder (1 tbsp-ish per cup of lentils). Add diced tomatoes (about 1 medium tomato per cup of lentils or equivalent canned) and bring to a simmer. This will form a thick, fragrant stew, and it's the basis for so many Indian dishes.

Then add rinsed dry lentils that cook up firm (I like brown) plus veggie broth or water in a 1:3 ratio. Simmer, covered, for about half an hour until lentils are soft. Near the end you can stir in some diced greens for a nutrition boost (I like kale). When lentils are soft, stir in coconut milk (about one can per 2 to 3 cups lentils) and salt.

Cauliflower is also a nice addition; just add it about 10 minutes before the lentils are done, so around 20 to 25 minutes in, depending on the lentils you're using. (Check the cooking time of the lentils if you're unsure.) Not everyone may share this opinion, but I think lentils can stand a bit of overcooking, and they're way better overcooked than under. 

Serve over brown rice, millet, quinoa, potatoes, bread, or whatever else you like! We like to garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes (and S&P of course, always).

This will thicken up as it sits and become more flavourful. It makes great leftovers and lunches, and is so nice to have in the fridge for when you need a quick meal. It also scales up well; I typically make 3 cups of lentils at a time for my hungry family, but you can easily make it 6 or more to feed a crowd... as long as your pot's big enough!


coconut lentil curry
coconut lentil curry