Red Lentil Coconut Curry

It was an uneventful weekend for me which I loved and needed and meant that I got to try out some new recipes.

This recipe comes from Simply in Season a cookbook my mom got me for my birthday. It highlights the best produce during each season. I recommend it.

This curry is full of vegetables and lentils (like many other curries)… Lentils are a staple in the vegetarian’s diet. They are a great source of protein and a host of other nutritious things. Downside is they are not the most appealing legume (hence the brown on brown of this curry). Even the red lentils in this recipe lose their bright orange color in cooking.

The clutch ingredient in this recipe was the sweet potato. It added creaminess to the firmer cauliflower and cabbage that really brought the Indian flavors together.

If only you could smell this. The curry powder with the coconut milk is heavenly.

And then you cut the cauliflower… and we all know how lovely that smells.

Before the Simmer Down….

Meet After (and my harvest placemats)…

The suggested serving is over rice. I served it with some steamed cabbage on the side because I like it, don’t have it all that often, and it reminds me of my grandma- the only person who ever made me steamed cabbage.

The perfect serving for me would be some fluffy naan or pita bread and some tzatziki. But I just don’t have enough time to get all of that together with a cat to raise and a 900 SqFt apartment to vacuum.

Oh yes, this curry serves 8-10 people and that is no overstatement. I live with me and me, so I will be eating this curry for the next week unless I can manage to pawn off some on a few friends… but if not, its delicious so I’ll manage.

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Total Preparation Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Number of Servings: 8-10


1 Large onion, minced
1 tbs. Garlic, minced
1 tbs. Ginger root, peeled and minced
2 tsp. Curry powder
1/2 tsp. Each ground turmeric, ground cumin, pepper
1/4 tsp. Ground red pepper (I just used red pepper flakes)
1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
2-3 Bay leaves
13.5 oz. Can coconut milk (Light Coconut Milk works great too!)
1/4 c. Tamari or soy sauce
1 c. Tomato sauce
2 c. Dried red lentils, rinsed (I used some brown, some red and some french green… its just what I had)
5 c. Water
1 Med. head cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2 inch florets
1 Lg. sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 Head cabbage, cut in 1 1/2 inch chunks
1-2 c. Peas (optional)


1. In large soup pot, saute onion in coconut butter (see note below) or 1 TBS. oil over medium-high heat until transparent but not browned.

2. Add spices and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook and stir constantly for 3 minutes; do not let spices and onion brown.

3. Add milk, tamari and tomato sauce, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.

4. In saucepan, cook lentils, in water, for 15 minutes. Add, with liquid, to soup pot.

5. Add vegetables to soup pot and cook over medium heat just until tender. If using peas, add at the end of the cooking time. Serve over brown rice with toppings (optional): Indian chutneys and pickles, fresh diced pears, roasted sunflower seeds, plain yogurt.

Note: If time allows, place can of coconut milk in freezer 20 minutes before starting to cook. Open can and remove solidified coconut butter from the top to use in sauteing. (I tried this with the light coconut milk and my guess is there just isn’t enough fat in it)


2 thoughts on “Red Lentil Coconut Curry

    • I really think you should try the coconut milk, unless you are allergic or just don’t like coconut. 🙂 The flavor of coconut isn’t overpowering but I think it is almost necessary to round out the Indian flavors and it has a nice thickness to it(more like a heavy whipping cream).

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