Vegan Lentil Curry


Vegan Lentil Curry

Vegan Lentil Curry | Photo by HFLP

I had an excellent food-day last week.  Ali and I made this awesome curry for lunch, and our friends (and writers of Veganerds) cooked an amazing Afghani feast for dinner.  I went to bed fat and happy, as another friend likes to say (I’m looking at you, Mr. L).

This delicious lentil curry was fantastic and way easier than the length of the ingredient list would seem to indicate.  It’s really lentils + tomatoes + spices.  I adapted the recipe from here.

I hadn’t really cooked with lentils much before, but turns out it’s no different than rice or couscous or anything else.  Fill a pot with water (according to the package instructions, of course) and let ’em simmer until they plump up and soften.  I read that it’s very important to wash them thoroughly before cooking, but the ones I bought were pre-washed.  I tried rinsing them anyways, but the water ran clear immediately.  So, just keep that in mind.

This would make a great side dish, or, as we had it, a great main course if served with some pita or rise.  All vegan, all the way.

I’m going to try my hand at beer bread and homemade polenta in the next few days, so be sure to check back in!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups red lentils (I used regular, green-ish lentils)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree (I used crushed tomatoes)
Curry Paste

I don't know one curry paste from the next | Photo by HFLP

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Begin cooking lentils according to package directions – this usually takes between 20-30 minutes.

Dry Lentils

Dry lentils in a towel in a strainer (for rinsing) | Photo by HFLP

Step 2) Begin cooking the onions in a large skillet or pan with a little oil until they begin to carmelize.

Step 3) Mix all of the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT the tomato puree, in a mixing bowl.  When they are nice and mixed, add them to the onions and let cook for about 2 minutes, mixing the onions into the spice mixture.

Curry Spice Mixture

A plethora of spices | Photo by HFLP

Step 4) Next, add the tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes) to the spices and onions and let simmer until the lentils are done to you liking.

Step 5) The lentils should have absorbed most of the water.  Taste a few and make sure they are soft and tasty.  When the lentils are done, mix with the curry base and serve immediately.

Wet Lentils

Plump and delicious | Photo by HFLP

We loved this recipe, and it’ll definitely enter our monthly rotation.  Quick and easy, healthy and lazy, and a good way to mix in some vegan meals into my diet.

Thanks for reading!

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3 responses to “Vegan Lentil Curry

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