Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry
This easy to make Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry is a healthy vegan recipe that makes a perfect meatless Monday dinner recipe. It takes less than an hour (mostly hands-off time) to make and is packed full of delicious Indian flavors. Make extras and you'll have a giant smile on your face at lunch the next day.
It's July! It's summer! It's the season of BBQ and no cook recipes! And here I am, sharing a coconut lentil curry recipe with you. Say what!!
You guys, this is what badass curry dreams are made of. For reals. I'm talking one pot and less than an hour till you're in coconut lentil curry HEAVEN!
I don't care how hot it is outside, it's always a good time for a bowl of hot curry. I mean, it's stinkin' hot in India and peeps eat curry there all the time. They must be onto something.
When I was doing the whole right of passage, backpacking around Asia thing in my early 20s, locals would always tell me that eating hot food on a hot day would cool you down. Makes no sense to me at all, but if you put a bowl of hot curry in front of me and it's a bazillion degrees outside, I'll still eat it. I mean really, how could you not?
This coconut lentil curry recipe is ridiculously simple to make. Five bucks says you're going to look at the recipe and think, “No way THIS recipe could be one of the BEST curry recipes.” But it is. For reals.
It's so simple to make that I made you a video so you can see just how easy it will be for you to sit down in front of a big bowl of curry.
Watch the Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry Video!
The original recipe comes from a well dog-eared cookbook of mine called, Vij's at Home. I've made some changes to the original recipe so it suits my taste:
- Coconut oil replaces the cooking oil (and I use MUCH less of it)
- Coriander seeds replace ground coriander as I love the little pop of crunch they give.
- Crushed tomatoes replace fresh tomatoes (so I can be lazy and not blend them)
- Harder to find mung beans take a hike and are replaced with brown lentils
- Cilantro gets piled on high.
- Cherry tomatoes get thrown in during the last few minutes of cooking (because heck, why not?)
Since I originally posted this recipe, I've now made it around 324,000 times. That might be a little exaggeration, but I have made it many times. My daughter is a huge fan of this lentil curry, so I usually make a double batch and then freeze some in smaller portions so I have some quick and easy food for her on hand.
Making a big batch also means that we get lunches for days after. Curry is kind of like chili, it's even better the next day. Honestly, every time I make this I get a text from my handsome man the next day telling me how good his lunch is. Win!
Also, after getting several requests, I've now created a Crockpot Coconut Lentil Curry recipe for you! While the original version still wins (in my books) the crockpot version is delicious and so great to come home to after a long day at work. 🙂
Healthy Vegan Curry Recipes
- Black Chana Masala
- Crock Pot Coconut Lentil Curry
- Coconut Black Lentil Curry
- Chickpea Tofu and Eggplant Curry
- Coconut Acorn Squash Curry
- Creamy Coconut Vegetarian Korma
- Loaded Vegan Butter ‘Chicken'
This easy to make Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry is a healthy vegan recipe that makes a perfect Meatless Monday dinner recipe. It takes less than an hour (mostly hands-off time) to make and is packed full of delicious Indian flavors. Make extras and you'll have a giant smile on your face at lunch the next day.
✨ If you love this Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry as much as I do, make sure to give it a 5-star review in the comments below!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon each: cumin seeds and coriander seeds
- 1 head of garlic, chopped (10–12 cloves)
- 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 1–2 teaspoons cayenne powder, optional
- 3 cups of water
- 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
- A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast until they start to brown, about 45 seconds. Add the garlic to the pot and let it brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the can of crushed tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, and sea salt to the pot and cook, stirring the pot a few times, for 5 minutes. Add the lentils and, if using, the cayenne powder, and the water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Stir the pot a few times to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. If the curry starts to look dry, add an extra 1/2 – 1 cup of water.
- Once the lentils are soft and the curry is thick, add the coconut milk and cherry tomatoes and bring the pot back to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
If you find that the curry is too liquidy, let it boil with the lid off for several minutes to let the water evaporate.
Pair with steamed basmati rice or cauliflower rice