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Coconut Curry Lentils

Coconut Curry Lentils are ridiculously quick and simple to make! To have these saucy, tasty lentils on the table in a hurry, we use a few shortcuts including already minced ginger and garlic, canned lentils, and a simple seasoning blend.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Coconut Curry Lentils
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 549kcal
Cost $7.21


  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1-2 shallots diced (~1/2 cup, 61g)
  • 2 tablespoons EACH: minced ginger & garlic cubes Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder Note 2
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon EACH: paprika & ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste Note 3
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.; 400mL) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cans (15 oz.; 425g each) lentils, drained & rinsed
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1-3 teaspoons sugar, salt, cilantro
  • Serving Suggestions: Note 4


  • AROMATICS: Melt butter or oil in a large pot (cast iron will cook quicker) over medium-high heat. Once melted, add diced shallot, ginger cubes, and garlic cubes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the curry powder, cumin, paprika, turmeric, red curry paste, and salt to taste (I add 1 teaspoon fine sea salt). Sauté for 1-2 more minutes or until very fragrant.
  • COCONUT MILK AND LENTILS: Shake the can of coconut milk and then pour it in. Stir, heat still over medium-high, until the coconut milk begins to bubble and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse and drain the lentils. Add the lentils in and stir.
  • FINISHING TOUCHES: Remove pot from heat and stir in lemon juice. Add sugar (if needed and to taste preference -- it will depend on how sweet your coconut milk is or how spicy curry paste is). Adjust seasonings here; add more salt, curry powder, etc. to taste depending on how bold you like your curry. Serve over rice with warmed naan if desired (Note 4) and with fresh cilantro if you have any on hand! Enjoy!



Note 1: Garlic and ginger cubes: To make prep seriously quick and easy, we use Dorot garlic and ginger cubes (6 are the equivalent of 2 tablespoons). Alternatively, you can use pre-minced garlic and ginger paste here.
Note 2: Curry powder: We've tested this recipe with Simple Truth Organic yellow curry powder and Great Value Organic yellow curry powder -- neither were overly hot/spicy. Reduce quantity if using a hotter curry powder and you're concerned about heat.
Note 3: Curry paste: We use Thai Kitchen which is quite mild (perfect for kids!). If you use another brand, test it first; you may want to use slightly less or compensate by adding in some sugar.
Note 4: Side dishes: To keep the sides as simple as possible, use toaster oven naan that you can simply throw in the toaster to warm through, and here's the quickest/easiest way to get perfect basmati rice (It must use basmati for this to work!)
  • Fill a large pot with water and set it to boil.
  • Once the water is at a rolling boil, salt the water and add in rice (as much as you'd like!).
  • Cook without reducing the heat, for 6 minutes (taste test to ensure it is tender) and then drain and fluff with a fork. Easy!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 1075mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1804IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 11mg