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.
By the way, I got all the ingredients for this recipe at Nude Foods. Besides being #zerowaste, it’s just such a beautiful, zen place. It’s honestly the only store that I love to go shopping—everywhere else is stressful but at Nude, I’m like a kid in a candy store! They have pretty much everything that a healthy plant-based kitchen could need, including organic produce and earth-friendly home-cleaning products. Check them out (they deliver).
Red Lentil Curry
- 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
- 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.