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This rich and creamy coconut lentil curry is the perfect dinner idea if you are looking for something flavorful, healthy and quick to make
I absolutely love curries! They are one of my favorite meals to make. They are so rich, flavorful, and comforting! Plus they are healthy and can be quick to make if you use some simple tricks!
And this coconut lentil curry is no exception. If you tried my chickpea curry, you know I am a big fan of keeping things simple. There is no reason to complicate our lives in the kitchen, especially considering how busy we are.
I promise this recipe will make any curry lover in the house extremely happy. And if you make an extra batch, you will have an incredibly delicious meal ready for lunch the next day!
How to make coconut lentil curry
This coconut lentil curry is incredibly easy to make, it takes less than 30 minutes, and it’s perfect for an indulgent night in.
The trick here is to use canned lentils. This removes a good 35-40 minutes out of the cooking time, without compromising on the final result.
Yes, canned lentils are a bit more expensive than using dry lentils. But hey, when you have no time, anything helps.
When you cook with canned lentils, always check the ingredients and use lentils without any added salt. If you can afford organic, even better.
What’s in this coconut lentil curry?
The star ingredients of this curry are:
- coconut milk
- crushed tomatoes
- leafy greens (I used fresh kale)
- and of course lots of fragrant spices
The full list of ingredients (see below) might seem long, but what I love about this recipe is how versatile it can be.
Don’t have fresh kale? Use frozen kale. Don’t like kale at all? Use spinach! Or any other green veggie you have in the fridge or freezer.
If you are missing any of the spices, you can easily just add a bit more curry powder or garam masala.
It’s hard to go wrong, and it’s easy to substitute ingredients while still obtaining a rich, comforting meal.
To make this curry:
- The first step is to prepare the coconut curry sauce: heat the coconut oil in a large pan. Add the chopped shallot, crushed garlic, grated ginger, and cumin seeds and toast for a couple of minutes until brown. Then add the garam masala, curry powder, and turmeric.
- Add the chopped carrots, crushed tomatoes, and coconut milk.
- Let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes then add the cooked lentils, some chili flakes, chopped coriander, and season with salt.
- Add your greens and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until they are nice and tender. Stir a few times, and if the curry looks dry, add the extra water a bit at the time.
And you are done!
I love to add some extra chopped coriander on top and serve it with fluffy basmati rice or brown rice. But it’s great with naan bread too!
Is lentil curry good for you?
This coconut lentil curry is incredibly healthy, especially if cooked with a low amount of oil (like in this recipe).
It’s great served as a main meal as it contains all the nutrients your body needs. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, folate, and iron. Plus they are cheap to buy!
This curry is also naturally vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, which makes it the perfect meal if you have anyone in your home with special diet requirements.
A great crow pleaser!
Can you meal prep this curry ahead?
Yes, you can, my friend.
This curry is perfect for meal prep.
You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. The spices will melt with the lentils and tomatoes and make the curry richer every day. All you need to do is to add some extra water before you heat it up in a skillet or pan.
You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. If you are planning to make a bigger batch and freeze it, use fresh leafy greens instead of frozen kale or spinach.
And if you like this recipe, check out these:
- 10-Minute Chickpea Curry
- Middle Eastern Lentil Soup
- Carrot & Ginger Soup
- 100+ Vegan Meal Prep Ideas Everyone Will Love
Lentil Coconut Curry
Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1 shallot (or 1 medium onion)
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
- A pinch of red chili flakes
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes1 can (from a can or jar)
- 1 can coconut milk (15 Oz - 400ml)
- 2 cans cooked brown or green lentils, rinsed (2 15 Oz cans - 480g rinsed )
- 2 cups water (to be added a bit a the time, if necessary)
- 3 cups chopped fresh kale leaves (or fresh spinach, or 2 cups frozen spinach or frozen kale or any other leafy greens of your choice)
- A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, crushed garlic, grated ginger, and cumin seeds and toast for a couple of minutes until brown. Then add the garam masala, curry powder, turmeric and stir well for a minute or so.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the chopped carrots, crushed tomatoes, and coconut milk.
- Let everything simmer for a couple of minutes then add the rinsed lentils, some chili flakes, chopped coriander, and some salt and season to taste.
- In the meantime wash and chop your greens (if using fresh). Add your greens, bring to a boil and let the curry cook gently for 10-15 minutes until your greens are nice and tender. Stir a few times, and if the curry looks dry, add the extra cups of water a bit at the time.
- Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve hot, over basmati rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice. Or with naan bread.