creamy coconut lentil curry

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Super creamy, comforting, and cozy curry recipe made with green lentils and coconut milk. Easy to make a one-pot recipe with simple ingredients that are both great to taste and good to health. This easy Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry can be served with rice or flatbread!

creamy coconut lentil curry in a bowl

What you need to make Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry?

Most of the ingredients might already be lying in your pantry, if not they are pretty easy to find in any grocers near you. I used green lentils for this recipe but feel free to use whatever kind of lentils you have at home. The cooking process for almost all lentils is similar unless specified on the package.

  • Green Lentils, soak your green lentils ( or any type of lentils you are using ) overnight in water for faster cooking. There is 30 minutes cooking time difference with this simple step.
  • Coconut Milk, get full-fat coconut milk for this recipe, canned coconut milk is perfect.
  • Cumin Seeds, are optional but use them if you have them. If you love curry making, always have cumin seeds in your pantry as they are used in almost all the curries. Cumin powder works too.
  • Onion, I used red onion, use any type you have at home, yellow or white.
  • Garlic, a must!
  • Ginger, a little.
  • Tomatoes, I used Roma Tomatoes, can use any type, cherry tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or any other tomatoes that work too.
  • Turmeric, optional but gives good color to the curry and has its own advantages to overall health.
  • Chili Powder, or can use Paprika.
  • Salt, of course!
  • Cooking Oil, I used vegetable cooking oil, try coconut if you prefer the taste.
  • Cilantro, optional but adds a little flavor.
coconut lentil curry served with cooked white rice and fresh cilantro

How to make Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry?

  • Add oil to a pot and when oil is hot, add cumin seeds and saute for a second. Add finely diced onion, minced or roughly chopped garlic, chopped ginger, and cook on medium heat for 2-3 mins or till onions turn translucent.
  • Now add diced tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and cook for 3-4 mins or till tomatoes are slightly cooked/softened. Now add lentils, water, and cook on medium heat for 15-20 mins with lid closed.
  • Keep an eye on the pot, stir in between, add more water if needed.
  • When lentils are cooked ( check by carefully crushing a cooked lentil with your fingers/fork ), add chili powder, turmeric, salt and mix everything well. Cook for 2 mins with lid closed.
  • Finally, lower the flame and add coconut milk. Cook for a minute and turn off the flame.
  • When it is still hot add finely chopped cilantro and mix everything.
  • Serve warm with cooked rice or with flatbread!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do lentils need to be soaked?

A. It is okay to not soak lentils before cooking, but soaking lentils at least for 4 hours reduces the cooking time. In most Indian households, people use a pressure cooker to cook lentils, which do not need any presoaking.

Q. Can we cook lentils in Instant Pot?

A. Yes, you can. Pressure cook lentils for 10 mins in InstantPot with water. Lentils to Water ratio of 1:2.

authentic lentils curry made using Indian ingredients.

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coconut lentil curry

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

One-pot creamy curry recipe with staple ingredients that is good for health and tastes great too!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Green Lentils
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk full fat
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 Onion medium
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 inch Ginger
  • 3 Tomatoes roma
  • 2 strands Cilantro
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder or paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt or as needed
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the vegetables by finely dicing the onion, mincing or roughly chopping the garlic, chopping ginger and dicing tomatoes.
  • To a cooking pot, add oil, when oil is hot, add cumin seeds and saute for a second. Add diced onion, garlic, ginger and cook on medium flame for 3-4 mins or till onions turn translucent.
  • Now add diced tomatoes and cook for 3-4 mins or till tomatoes are slightly cooked/softened. Add lentils, water and cook on medium flame for 15-20 mins with lid closed.
  • Keep an eye on pot, keep stirring in between, add more water if needed.
  • When lentils are cooked ( check carefully by crushing a lentil with your fingers/fork ), add chili powder, salt, turmeric and mix everything well. Cook with lid closed for 2 mins.
  • Reduce the flame to low and add coconut milk. Stir to mix and let cook for 2 mins.
  • Turn off the flame and when curry is still hot, add cilantro and mix.
  • Serve warm with cooked rice or flat bread!

Notes

Storage: Can store in an air-tight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on stove top or in microwave before serve.
Tip: Soak green lentils in water overnight or at least 4 hours for faster cooking process!
Vegan and Gluten-Free!
Keyword Coconut, Curry, Lentil, Vegan

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Indian Lentil Curry

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