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Red Lentil Coconut Curry (vegan)

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I recently found a recipe for red lentil curry online and while it sounded delicious, I found that it lacked the spice punch I usually expect from a curry. I decided to re-think the recipe when my roommate’s entire family was coming over for dinner. I added more spices as well as richness through the coconut cream. I think it turned out really well and its a great meal to cook for a crowd because it’s inexpensive but still exotic and special. The lentil and rice combo is really satisfying- even for meat eating folk 🙂

Further Food Commentary:

Don't be fooled by the lengthy list of ingredients here--it's actually mostly spices to take a simple dish made of lentils, tomatoes, rice, coconut milk, kale, and onions to an elevated level of taste. Spices are an excellent way to make any dish taste great, especially a bland, boring, or even bitter meal. When changing up your diet, whether it be cutting out an ingredient (like meat), reducing sodium, or focusing on weight loss (i.e. cutting out high sugar/high fat foods), spices are your friend! Not only do spices drastically change the taste of any meal, but many of them have health boosting components such as vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory agents, cancer-fighting compounds, and free-radical quenchers.

By Katie Bishop, MS, Nutritionist
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Red Lentil Coconut Curry (vegan)

Stars ( Reviews)

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:45 minutes
  • Servings: 13

Ingredients

For the lentil curry:

3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 medium onions (chopped)
8 garlic cloves (minced)
3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
6 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
4 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons salt
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 pound red lentils (rinsed and picked over for any small pebbles or grit)
2 quarts good quality vegetable stock
ground black pepper (to taste)
3 cups chopped kale
1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
juice of half a lime

 

For the rice:

4 cups basmati rice
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
salt

 

To Garnish:
cilantro (chopped)

roasted and salted cashews (chopped)
Unsweetened shredded coconut
mango chutney (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium- high heat.
  2. Sautee the onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, curry powder, turmeric and garam masala, and salt. Stir until fragrant. Heating the spices in this way, releases all of their aromas.
  4. Next, stir in the can of crushed tomatoes. Taste and re-season with salt if needed.
  5. Stir in the red lentils and pour the vegetable stock into the pot.
  6. Increase heat and bring lentils to a boil. Once the lentils are boiling, reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 35-40 minutes until lentils are tender.
  7. Meanwhile, bring the vegetable stock and water for the rice up to a boil. Rinse the basmati rice. Once the Vegetable stock/ water mixture is boiling, add a generous pinch of salt as well as the basmati rice. Once the liquid come back up to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat and let simmer until rice is cooked.
  8. Once the lentils are cooked, open the can of coconut milk. The cream will have solidified on the top. Scoop out the cream and add it to the lentils.
  9. Stir in the chopped kale and lime juice and cook until the kale is wilted, about 3 minutes. Taste and re-season with salt if needed.
  10. To serve, ladle the curry over the basmati rice and top with chopped cashews, cilantro, and shredded coconut. I also like to serve this with a tasty mango chutney, which are readily available in most grocery stores.
Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium- high heat. Sautee the onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, curry powder, turmeric and garam masala, and salt. Stir until fragrant. Heating the spices in this way, releases all of their aromas. Next, stir in the can of crushed tomatoes. Taste and re-season with salt if needed. Stir in the red lentils and pour the vegetable stock into the pot. Increase heat and bring lentils to a boil. Once the lentils are boiling, reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 35-40 minutes until lentils are tender. Meanwhile, bring the vegetable stock and water for the rice up to a boil. Rinse the basmati rice. Once the Vegetable stock/ water mixture is boiling, add a generous pinch of salt as well as the basmati rice. Once the liquid come back up to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat and let simmer until rice is cooked. Once the lentils are cooked, open the can of coconut milk. The cream will have solidified on the top. Scoop out the cream and add it to the lentils. Stir in the chopped kale and lime juice and cook until the kale is wilted, about 3 minutes. Taste and re-season with salt if needed. To serve, ladle the curry over the basmati rice and top with chopped cashews, cilantro, and shredded coconut. I also like to serve this with a tasty mango chutney, which are readily available in most grocery stores.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 402; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 669mg; Potassium: 427mg; Carbohydrate: 66g; Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 10g

Nutrition Bonus:  Vit C: 52%; Vit A: 43%; Iron: 20%; Calcium: 14%

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