This simple, creamy Indian Lentil Curry is made with green lentils, coconut milk, fresh ginger, scallions, and curry. It’s perfect over a bed of rice and tastes just as good (or even better) the next day! Make this plant-based recipe for dinner and enjoy it for lunch the next day.
We love cooking with lentils. They’re a versatile, affordable, and nutritious addition to so many meals. Since they soak up flavor well, you can make lentil recipes as neutral or exciting as you’d like! In this case, creating a vegan and gluten-free Lentil Curry is the perfect way to make an easy Indian meal that bursts with flavor right at home.
Are Lentils Healthy?
One of the best parts of cooking with lentils is the nutrition you’re adding to your meal. Lentils are high in vitamin B and iron, and they’re an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber. These coconut curried lentils will make you feel great!
Ingredients in Vegan Lentil Coconut Curry
Most of these pantry ingredients are likely to be in your kitchen already! We love how simple this dish is to pull together. All you need to make an Indian lentil dish at home is:
- Olive oil or coconut oil
- Tomato paste
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Curry powder or our Garam Masala spice blend
- Dry brown or green lentils (preferably not red!)
- Fresh ginger
- Water or vegetable broth
- Light canned coconut milk
- Fresh cilantro
The Secret to Perfect Homemade Curry
We recommend cooking your curry in layers! Don’t add everything all at once; start with tomatoes, then scallions, then lentils, letting each one cook for a few minutes in between. This creates a depth of flavor that you don’t get when everything is thrown in at the same time, the result is a super creamy curried lentil dinner.
Do You Have to Cook Lentils Before Adding Them to Curry?
No! The lentils will simmer in the curry sauce for only 15-20 minutes before they are ready to enjoy. The combination of soft-cooked lentils, coconut milk, and curry powder make for a creamy, delicious curry sauce that’s perfect over rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or your favorite veggies.
Canned Lentils in Lentil Curry
It is absolutely possible to use canned lentils instead of fresh ones in this recipe. Just reduce the simmering time to 15 minutes since the canned lentils are already cooked, and add only as much water or broth needed for a creamy consitency. You want to avoid a mushy lentil coconut curry!
Other Indian Recipes You May Like
- Chana Masala Over Celeriac Puree
- Eggplant and Chickpea Curry
- Braised Curried Kale with Spiced Chickpeas
- Homemade Garam Masala
- Lentil Curry
- Mashed Butternut Squash with Spiced Chickpeas
DID YOU LIKE OUR LENTIL CURRY RECIPE?Print
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 5 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This simple, creamy Indian Lentil Curry is made with green lentils, coconut milk, fresh ginger, scallions, and curry. It’s perfect over a bed of rice and tastes just as good (or even better) the next day! Make it for dinner and enjoy it for lunch the next day.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 4 large scallions, white and green parts, sliced
- 1 cup dry brown or green lentils, picked and rinsed (See note #2)
- 1 tbsp curry powder (See note #1)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 cups of water or vegetable broth
- ¾ cup canned light coconut milk
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large deep skillet with a lid. Add the tomato paste and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently
- Add the diced tomatoes and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. Add the scallions and keep cooking for 2-3 minutes
- Add the lentils, curry powder, salt, ginger, and water or broth. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are slightly tender but not all the way cooked. You should have some liquid remaining. If not, add about ½ cup of water or broth
- Add the coconut milk and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes
- Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Serve plain or over rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice
- Use your favorite curry powder. You may also want to try our homemade Garam Masala spice blend
- To save on cooking time, you can use canned lentils. Canned lentils are already cooked, so just make the sauce, skip the water or broth, then add them to the pot. Cook for 15 minutes, so all the flavors come together. Add some water or broth to achieve the desired consistency.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: ½ cup
- Calories: 230
- Sugar: 4
- Sodium: 477
- Fat: 8.8
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 5.8
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 29.7
- Fiber: 5.9
- Protein: 10.6
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: gluten-free, kosher, plant-based,
Looks yum 🙂
Can you use tinned lentils (which are cooked) rather than dried lentils and cooking them?
Vicky & Ruth says
You can used canned lentils, just keep in mind that the texture might be slightly mushier. Our suggestion would be to rinse them and add them last, right before simmering. Hope this helps!
I made this and the house was filled with the most delicious aromas!! Will serve it tonight to special guests. I had to add a bit more liquid...this is a meal in itself...so fabulous. Your photos make my mouth water!!
Vicky & Ruth says
Thanks, we hope your guest enjoy it. We also love how the house smells when we use all the spices in this recipe. Enjoy!
Does it matter what type of lentils you use? Can you use the red lentils?
Vicky & Ruth says
We wouldn't recommend red lentils only because they might get a little too mushy. Brown or beluga lentils might be your best option here. Hope this helps!
I love lentils! Great recipe and full of flavor!
What can I do if I don't have coconut milk? May I substitute it with something or cook without milk at all?
Vicky and Ruth says
You could add some unsweetened non-vanilla plant-Based milk or soak some raw cashews or other raw nuts in boiling water, let it soak for 20 minutes, and puree until it becomes a cream. Follow this recipe: https://mayihavethatrecipe.com/cashew-cream/
The picture alone of the lentils curry and the easy ingredients say it all for me.Am surely trying it out.Have written it down already(Recipe).Thanks
Vicky and Ruth says