by Olena

Green Lentil Curry

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
4.9 from 81 votes

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

Green Lentil Curry is hearty, wholesome, and comforting with a delicious blend of lentils, coconut milk, and warming spices for a naturally vegan, protein packed meal. Cook on the stove, in an Instant Pot, crockpot, or even prepare it as a freezer meal!

Pulses are packed with tons of plant based protein, perfect for meat free meals like this Instant Pot lentil soup, lentil casserole, and pressure cooker dal.

green lentil curry dish with lime garnish pita and sour cream

With their ‘meaty’ texture, lentils are an excellent plant based protein to enjoy as part of any meat free meal. When combined with rich coconut milk and warming spices, coconut lentil curry is creamy, comforting, nutritious and simple to prepare for a midweek dinner.

For years, I hid behind (albeit delicious) soup recipes like slow cooker lentil soup and red lentil soup as the only way to enjoy lentils. This Indian inspired green lentil dish, though, is crowd pleasing, child approved and has quickly become a new favorite.

Interested in more hearty meat-free mains? You may also enjoy this Instant Pot vegetarian chili, hearty vegetable soup, one-pot chili mac, or black bean quinoa casserole.

Why Make Lentil Curry Recipe?

  • Multiple cooking methods: Stovetop, Instant Pot, crockpot, or freezer meal methods, all almost entirely hands off!
  • Low budget: Dried lentils, canned coconut milk, and spices are all pantry staples and budget friendly.
  • Plant based protein: Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, and many vitamins and nutrients (like iron). Perfect for meat free Mondays and other meatless meals.
  • Diet friendly: Gluten free, dairy free, meat free, plant based, vegan!
  • Comforting: The combination of ‘meaty’ lentils, creamy coconut milk, and warming spices is wholesome and satisfying.
  • Super easy: Depending on which method you use, this recipe can be one pot, hands off, and even entirely no stir. All methods are super easy, though!
  • Make ahead: Refrigerate leftovers for 5-6 days, freeze for 3 months, or turn into a freezer meal!
close up of coconut lentil recipe with a dollop of yogurt and pita bread

Ingredients for Lentil Curry

This green lentil recipe requires just 9 ingredients (plus salt) and is an excellent example of how flavors can be built on, for a dish that’s simple but packed with depth.

  • Lentils: Uncooked green or brown lentils are best for this coconut lentil curry, as they hold their shape better when cooked. Red lentils (and yellow lentils) will fall apart and become mushy (much better suited for red lentil soup.)
  • Coconut milk: Use high-quality full-fat coconut milk for the best results.

Not all coconut milk is created equally. Try to choose brands that have a clean ingredients list—for example, coconut cream, water, and guar gum at the most. Avoid brands with lots of preservatives. I’ve also found that several organic brands are lumpy.

My favorite brands are 365, Thai kitchen, Trader Joe’s (coconut cream), and Compliments!

  • Aromatics: You’ll need garlic and onion (or shallot).
  • Tomato paste: Use canned or tube tomato paste (regular or double concentrate will work). You could substitute a plain tomato sauce, though it won’t be as flavorful.
  • Spices: You don’t need a ton of spices to create a rich and warming flavor in this lentil curry recipe. I use a combination of ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, yellow curry powder, and salt. To enhance the healthfulness of the turmeric, also add a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper.

Easily adjust the heat in this green lentil curry recipe by using a mild, medium, or hot curry powder. However, my favorite is mild yellow curry powder, which is used to make chicken curry, and my kids love it, too.

  • Cilantro: To garnish (optional).
  • Coconut oil: Or another neutral cooking oil like avocado oil.
  • Vegetable broth: You can use water, but low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth if not veggie) will provide far more flavor. Use ready made broth OR a bouillon cube.
green lentil curry ingredients lentils warm spices onion

How to Use Bouillon Cubes for Broth?

Each pack of stock cubes/bouillon cubes will have instructions that say how much liquid each cube should be combined with. Luckily, these Go Bio organic bouillon cubes, use one cube per 3 cups of boiling water (as needed for this recipe). Stir in the water until dissolved, and it’s ready to use!

vegetable bouillon cubes

How to Make Green Lentil Curry

There are three simple ways you can prepare this coconut lentil curry based on what works best for you. Set it up in the morning and have it ready and waiting by dinner time (crockpot), set it and walk away (Instant Pot), or whip it up on the stovetop, choose your preferred method!

Below is a summary of the green lentil recipe. Refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the full details.

Do I Need to Wash Lentils Before Cooking?

It’s always a good idea to sort through and rinse dried lentils, as there can be sediment/debris in with them. Pick out any loose hidden stones and shriveled lentils if there are any, then rinse lentils in a colander to remove any remaining sediment/dust, etc.

dried lentils being rinsed in a colander

Stovetop Lentils

Here is a brief summary of how to cook this green lentil curry recipe on the stovetop:

  • Prepare the ingredients: Sort and rinse the lentils and chop the garlic and onion.
  • Sauté the aromatics: Heat a large Dutch Oven/ heavy-bottomed pan with oil, add garlic and onion, and cook until slightly golden.
  • Add the spices: Then stir frequently for 30 seconds.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: Add the coconut milk, tomato paste, lentils, and water (or veg broth). Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
  • Allow it to rest: remove the pan from the heat and wait 5 minutes before removing the lid and serving your creamy coconut lentil curry.

Slow Cooker Lentil Curry

  • Sauté the aromatics: Follow the first three steps above, sauteing the onion and garlic with the spices.
  • Cook in slow cooker: Transfer the garlic and onion mixture to your crockpot along with all the remaining ingredients (except garnish) and cook over HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.

Instant Pot Lentil Curry

  • Add the ingredients: Add the ingredients (except garnish) to your Instant Pot in the following order: onion, garlic, turmeric, coriander, curry powder, ground cumin, salt, green lentils, water (or veg broth), coconut milk, and tomato paste. Don’t stir!

As the garlic and onion are still closest to the heat source, they don’t require sauteing before pressure cooking. Plus, the pressure cooker helps bring out more flavor from the ingredients in less time. However, you can sauté, if you prefer.

  • Cook: Cover, seal, and pressure cook on HIGH for 25 minutes. Then quick release and enjoy!

Keep reading below for the method of turning this into a quick Freezer meal!

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Diced tomatoes: Add a pop of color and freshness to this warm green lentil recipe before serving or use within the curry alongside or instead of the tomato paste.
  • Garam Masala: Use this instead of the individual spices (1+ tablespoon), or add a pinch (or more) towards the end of the cooking, for extra depth.
  • Ginger: ½-1 tsp for extra depth of flavor.
  • Cardamom: Add a pinch (around ¼ tsp) for depth.
  • Leafy greens: Spinach or kale/ rainbow chard will easily add extra nutrients to this vegan lentil curry.
  • Other vegetables: Experiment with adding finely chopped carrots, green beans, sweet potato, celery, cauliflower, red pepper, peas, etc., to this lentil curry recipe.
  • Additional protein: Feel free to add your protein of choice (chicken is my preferred option just like Instant Pot chicken curry), but diced beef would also work) into the dish or use pre-cooked meat to add towards the end (I often use meal prepped shredded chicken)
  • More heat: Either adapt the curry powder (to medium/hot) or add some extra chili powder/ cayenne pepper powder, fresh chopped chilies, or red pepper flakes.
  • Citrus: Add a splash of lime or lemon juice at the end for brightness or serve it with lemon/lime wedges.
  • Sugar: I rarely find this necessary. However, if you want to balance the acidity in the dish, add a pinch of sugar (coconut sugar, brown sugar, or even a sugar free sweetener like erythritol).

Tips for Best Results

  • Make sure your curry powder is fresh! It is key to the most delicious curry. I buy organic yellow curry powder from Splendor Garden on Amazon.
  • Adjust the heat: This creamy coconut lentil curry is highly adaptable. Use a mild, medium, or hot curry powder, and make it even hotter with extra chili (powder, fresh, or flakes).
  • No need to soak the lentils: In fact, I recommend you don’t; otherwise, the liquid ratio in this recipe will be off, and you’ll notice this recipe is more soupy than thick. You can usually continue to cook the lentils to reduce it further, but it’s quicker and easier to skip soaking the lentils.
  • Adjust the consistency: If at any point (with the stovetop/crockpot methods), you notice your dish is getting too dry; feel free to add more water/broth.
  • When using other lentils: The cooking time and texture can vary, so keep an eye on the recipe.

FAQs

Do I have to soak lentils?

This recipe was designed specifically with unsoaked lentils in mind. If soaked, the ratio of liquid will be off. In general, while soaking lentils can reduce the cooking time somewhat, it isn’t necessary.

Can I use broth instead of water?

Either will work, though I love to use vegetable broth for extra flavor (beef or chicken broth work too if you aren’t vegetarian). However, use low sodium broth; otherwise, the curry may be too salty.

Can you use red lentils in place of green lentils?

I don’t recommend using red lentils, as they take a minimal amount of time to cook and tend to fall apart and become mushy when cooked. However, feel free to experiment.

Can I add a meat protein to this Indian lentil dish?

Absolutely. I haven’t tried adding raw meat before; however, I’ve added leftover cooked chicken and other meats several times, adding it in towards the end (just long enough to warm the meat) before serving.

Alternatively, you could use a method similar to how I make this chicken and lentil soup, adjusting the cooking time accordingly (which may lead to slightly mushier lentils).

Can I use black, yellow, or french lentils?

It’s technically fine to use any lentil in this lentil curry. However, the cooking time varies, so it may require some recipe tweaking. The texture will also vary. I avoid black/Puy lentils, as they stay very firm and don’t provide the same creamy, thick texture as other types.

Can I substitute coconut milk?

Honestly, I’ve never tried anything other than coconut milk. However, several readers have pointed out their subs in the comments, including evaporated milk, heavy cream, or even Greek yogurt (add towards the end to avoid curdling). For a dairy free option, cashew cream may work.

Is it okay to use lite coconut milk?

Technically, yes. But the curry can taste a little ‘flat’ and won’t be as creamy compared to using full fat coconut milk.

Are green and brown lentils the same?

Although similar, there are several differences between brown and green lentils. For example, brown lentils contain slightly higher levels of fiber and take slightly less time to cook, with an earthy flavor. In comparison, green lentils retain their shape best when cooking and have a slightly more peppery flavor. However, both work wonderfully for this recipe.

lentil curry recipe with garnish

How to Serve Coconut Lentil Curry Recipe?

You can enjoy a big bowl of this curry alone or serve it with one or more of several sides, including:

  • Bread: Toasted naan bread, garlic bread, and whole wheat pita bread.
  • Grains: Like brown rice, basmati, or quinoa. For a lower carb option, you could use cauliflower rice.
  • Yogurt: A dollop of yogurt over the creamy green lentil curry will add creaminess and offset the spice.
  • Veggies: Roasted cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, etc.
  • Salad: Leafy green salads and options like beets with goat cheese salad or savoy cabbage salad.
  • Baked potato: This Indian lentil dish makes for a delicious baked potato topping.
  • Lettuce wraps: I’ll thank a reader (Kelly) in the comments for this idea. Serve the curry with lettuce wraps, yogurt, and possibly some halved grape/cherry tomatoes.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy a bowl of this green lentil curry is topped with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, some cilantro, avocado, lime wedges, and, optionally, even a little cheese (similar to a big bowl of chili).

How to Make Indian Lentil Dish into a Freezer Meal?

Preparing a freezer meal version of this vegan curry eliminates all prep for when you next want to make this dish, for a simple, fuss free meal. It can be prepared for Instant Pot or Slow Cooker methods.

  • Instant Pot: In a gallon-sized Ziplock bag, add all the ingredients, except water/broth and garnishes, finishing with tomato paste on top (very important for Instant Pot). Squeeze out all the excess air, seal, and freeze for up to 3 months. Pressure cook on High from frozen with 3 cups of water for 25 minutes with Quick Release.
  • Slow Cooker: Pan fry onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, then add the spices and sauté for further 30 seconds. Transfer to a gallon-size Ziploc bag with remaining ingredients, except water/broth and garnishes. Let as much air out as possible, seal, and freeze for up to 3 months. Then cook from frozen with 3 cups of water on LOW for 9 hours or on HIGH for 5 hours.

green lentil curry recipe

Love meal prep? Check out my compiled list of 20 healthy freezer meals.

How to Store Leftover Green Lentil Recipe?

Make ahead: Easily turn this Indian lentil dish into a freezer meal to reduce the prep time (for Instant Pot or Slow Cooker). Read the section above for the complete method.

Store: Allow it to cool, and then store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.

Freeze: After cooling, store the leftover green lentil curry in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to three months. Allow it to thaw either in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 5-6 hours.

Reheat: Use a microwave or the stovetop to reheat the vegan lentil curry. I prefer to gently simmer it, covered, on the stovetop with an extra splash of water/broth, stirring occasionally. This should only take a few minutes (or longer if you decide to reheat from frozen).

More Curry and Lentil Recipes

indian lentil dish in a pot with spoon for serving
Green Lentil Curry

Green Lentil Curry {Simple Ingredients}

Green Lentil Curry is hearty, wholesome, and comforting with a delicious blend of lentils, coconut milk, and several spices for a naturally vegan, protein packed meal. Cook on the stove, in an Instant Pot, crockpot, or even prepare it as a freezer meal!
4.94 from 81 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 438kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

Stovetop Lentil Curry:

  • Preheat dutch oven or heavy bottom medium pot on low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and garlic, cook until golden brown (5 minutes), stirring occasionally.
    Green Lentil Curry
  • Add turmeric, coriander, curry powder, cumin and salt; cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
    Green Lentil Curry
  • Add coconut milk, tomato paste, water, lentils and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low for 45 minutes.
    Green Lentil Curry
  • Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Add cilantro and/or green onions and stir. Adjust thickness of curry with more broth, if you wish.
    Green Lentil Curry
  • Serve hot garnished with more cilantro/green onions, lime, avocado and yogurt, if you wish.
    Green Lentil Curry

Slow Cooker Lentil Curry:

  • Preheat small skillet on low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and garlic, cook until golden brown (5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add turmeric, coriander, curry powder, cumin and salt; cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Transfer to a slow cooker and add coconut milk, tomato paste, water and green lentils. Stir to combine, cover and cook on High for at least 3 – 4 hours or on Low for 6 – 8 hours.

Instant Pot Lentil Curry:

  • In Instant Pot, add ingredients in exact same order: onion, garlic, turmeric, coriander, curry powder, cumin, salt, green lentils, water, coconut milk and tomato paste. Do not stir!
  • Cover, set pressure valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 25 minutes. After do Quick Release to release the pressure by turning the valve to Venting.

Store and reheat: Leftovers keep fresh in the fridge in an airtight container for 5-6 days. Reheat by simmering on low with a splash of water or broth, in a small pot while covered and stirring once or twice. Shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw curry in a fridge overnight or on a counter for 5-6 hours.

      Video

      Notes

      • Do I have to soak lentils? You do not have to soak lentils which makes them a fast cooking legume.
      • Can I use broth instead of water? Absolutely, it will add more flavor to the curry. Use vegetable broth or if not strict vegan or vegetarian, chicken or beef broth works too. Just make sure it is low sodium, otherwise curry will be too salty. If you have salted stock, do not add salt to the recipe and adjust to taste after, if necessary.
      • Make sure your curry powder is fresh! It is key to the most delicious curry.
      • Add more heat: This is mild curry recipe because that is what my kids can handle at this point. Add more curry powder and/or red pepper flakes for heat.
      • Optional Add-In’s:
        • Diced tomatoes: Add a pop of color and freshness to this warm green lentil recipe before serving or use within the curry alongside tomato paste.
        • Garam Masala: Use this instead of the individual spices (1+ tablespoon), or add a pinch (or more) towards the end of the cooking, for extra depth.
        • Ginger: ½-1 tsp for extra depth of flavor.
        • Cardamom: Add a pinch (around ¼ tsp) for depth.
        • Leafy greens: Spinach or kale/ rainbow chard.
        • Other vegetables: Finely chopped carrots, green beans, sweet potato, celery, cauliflower, red pepper, peas, etc., to this lentil curry recipe.
        • Additional protein: Feel free to add your protein of choice, chicken is my preferred option, but diced beef would also work into the dish or use pre-cooked meat to add towards the end.
        • More heat: A pinch of chili powder/ cayenne pepper powder, fresh chopped chilies, or red pepper flakes.
        • Citrus: Add a splash of lime or lemon juice at the end for brightness or serve it with lemon/lime wedges.
      • How to Make a Freezer Meal:
        • Instant Pot: In a gallon size Ziplock bag, add all ingredients, except water and garnishes, finishing with tomato paste on top (very important for Instant Pot). Let as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Pressure cook on High from frozen with 3 cups of water for 25 minutes with Quick Release.
        • Slow Cooker: Pan fry onion and garlic with spices sauteed for 30 seconds at the end. Transfer to a gallon size Ziploc bag with remaining ingredients, except water and garnishes. Let as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Then cook from frozen with 3 cups of water on Low for 9 hours or on High for 5 hours.
      See recipe post for additional notes and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 416mg | Potassium: 844mg | Fiber: 23g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 6mg
      Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes anywhere including social media, print and all world wide web. Nutritional info is provided for informational purposes only and to the best knowledge.

      234 comments on “Green Lentil Curry

      Our “happiness” software automatically deletes any comments of racial, politicial, religious or any offensive nature without publishing, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you. For substitutions please refer to extensive recipe post and recipe card notes. If you don't see an answer, you are welcome to try your version and let us know how it went as recipes are posted only as tested. Comments may take up to 24-48 hours to reply. Please see our full comment policy.:).

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Recipe Rating




      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      1. 5 stars
        I loved the Green Lentil stew. My family wasn’t as excited about it though.
        I have been making at least 2 of your recipes per week and loving them.
        Thanks Olena! You rock.
        I am trying to loose weight and have lost 68 lbs so far but have t2 to go! So I am looking for healthy recipes to change from how I usually cook. My family loves the new recipes as well.
        I have done soups, stews, muffins and lots of other items.

      2. 4 stars
        How much cilantro and or green onions do you add in the fourth step it does not say in the ingredient list either it just says use for garnish

        1. Both are just your preference, some people like a lot of cilantro/green onion, others just a bit and others not at all 🙂 So I would add some, taste and add more according to taste.

      3. 5 stars
        Can you suggest a substitute for coconut milk? If my adult daughter knew it was in there she wouldn’t even eat it.

        1. If you are okay with dairy, you could try Greek yogurt (will be tangier), heavy cream (use 2 parts cream/1 part water) or if dairy free you can try a plant based milk – note that plant based milks (oat, cashew, almond, soy) are a bit ‘thinner’ than coconut milk. You could also try lite coconut milk which is not as ‘coconut’ tasting as full fat coconut milk.

      4. 5 stars
        I love this recipe – I’ve made
        It several times in the Instapot, and was wondering, if making in a dutch oven on the stovetop, if I have to the transfer to the slowcooker?

      5. for the instant pot- Do all ingredients go directly into pot? it is not ingredients in a separate covered bowl/pan on rack with water in instant pot? Looks delicious,

      6. 5 stars
        Amazing! Lots of flavour!
        I’ve added some ginger, green chili, cardamon powder and beef stock!
        Thank you so so much

      7. 5 stars
        The flavour of this curry is out of this world amazing. Love it and will be making it again.

      8. 5 stars
        Wow! I was amazed at just how much flavor this has and how well-balanced it is. I made it according to the recipe, on the stovetop, and only subbed a little carton of tomato sauce for the tomato paste. Made basmati rice on the side and ate with a little plain Greek yogurt. Absolutely delicious and my kids are shoveling it down too. Thank you!

      9. I want to try this in my instapot. Looks amazing. Do you sauté the onions first or just throw everything in? Still experimenting with my instapot but would imagine a sauté first?

      10. 5 stars
        Absolutely delicious. I cooked it exactly as prescribed in the instapot and will be making this a staple in my food prepping. Its a perfect side or base for a chicken bowl. We like to mix in black beans, chicken, avocado, sour cream and cilantro. I’ve been looking for more paleo/keto recipes and glad I found this one.

      11. 5 stars
        Excellent!! Thank you! ❤ soooo good!! My 25 year old son complimented it and he usually loves meat he mentioned twice how good it was THANK YOU!!!!

      12. 5 stars
        Si delish. Never had a curry dish before. This was creamy and savory but not overpowering. Made in instantpot, no changes too recipe.
        Thanks again!

      13. 5 stars
        I made it today.I can t belive it turn out to be so tasty ,without any meat at all.I have three men in the house and all liked it.Thank you ,for such a great recepie 🤗

        1. You are so welcome! I can so relate cause I have 3 men too. Whenever they see no meat on their plates I hear “sighs” and then they usually calm down. 🙂

      14. 5 stars
        This is one of my favorite recipes. So delicious. I probably make it every other week but would happily eat it every other day. Even my carnivore boyfriend loves it. I use the slow cooker method and if I have carrots and celery on hand I dice that and throw it in for an added veggie boost (and then add a little more of the spices too). Thanks you so much for sharing this!

      15. 5 stars
        I made this and it was delicious! I added a handful of spinach and kale to get some greens in. We had it with Jasmine rice. Yum!

      16. 5 stars
        I just stumbled across your blog and besides being impressed with this tasty sounding dish – I’m surprised we’re “neighbours”. My family is on the island too! Can’t wait to dig into your recipes.

      17. 4 stars
        It is on the stove top as I jot this note to you. I gave it a taste, smooth sauce, lentils are not quite cooked, but very mild not spicy enough. Should I add more curry?

      18. 5 stars
        This was delicious! Very glad that I made a bit pot, as I have had leftovers three times since – and it is just as good four days later (maybe even better?). It is excellent with a dollop of greek yoghurt and chopped cilantro on top! I ran out of tomato paste – I only had half the amount, and it didn’t suffer at all. This will go into the regular rotation!

      19. 5 stars
        I love this dish. It’s so delicious with the right amount of spices. Of course you can add a bit more curry powder if you like it spicy like my son and I do. This dish takes no time to make and goes a long way. Try it! You will not regret it.

      20. 5 stars
        Just had this for lunch and loved it! I made it as a freezer meal and cooked in the instantpot. I will definitely make it again, and keep a few freezer meals on hand. I thought the tomato paste was a little overpowering, and will try half a can next time. I ordered some of the reusable freezer bags you recommended (but didn’t see them in your amazon storefront!). Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

      21. 5 stars
        This recipe was simple and soooooo delicious! My family couldn’t stop tasting from the pot. By dinnertime it was nearly gone!

      22. 5 stars
        I tried this for the first time and it was absolutely DELICIOUS !!! I upped my spices and used low sodium chicken broth instead of water, served it with garlic butter Naan bread. OMG !!! Definitely will be on my favourites list.

      23. 5 stars
        I looooooove this recipe! It’s a go-to meatless meal option for our family. The flavour is incredible. I add 1/4-1/2 tsp of cardamom and a bit more salt than called for and make on the stove. It’s even better when I have the energy to make naan bread. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

      24. 5 stars
        Made this last night, and it turned out delicious! Followed the recipe exactly. Paired it with some rice and homemade naan. Thanks for the easy, tasty recipe!

      25. 5 stars
        Tastes amazing (the coconut milk – wow) & quickest meal on the planet if done in the IP. Well worth keeping the ingredients on hand, my husband could eat this every week.

        1. 5 stars
          Followed recipe but was generous with spices. Delicious! Next time I will add a little heat by adding red pepper flakes and/or chili powder. Thank you for a great and easy recipe.

      26. 5 stars
        I wanted to use my new pressure cooker and also make my first ever easy Indian dish! I’m glad it was this! My boyfriend said “this is the best thing you’ve ever made.” Yay!

      27. 5 stars
        My very picky 10 year old said “this is really good”
        She has previously said yuck to all lentils and beans. Winning!

      28. 5 stars
        OMGOODNESS !!!!! They were delicious! I did not have corriander, however , I replaced it with fresh dill, parsley, tarragon and cilantro. So much flavor!!! Thank you!!!!!

      29. This looks delicious!!!! My husband absolutely hates anything coconut. Wierd, I know, lol. I was wondering if I could use evaporated or 2% milk instead? Cooking a turkey breast and just wanted a nice healthy side….forgive me Mashed Potatoes. Thanks so much, and I look forward to making this!!

        1. I think it would work. I have never cooked with it or tasted but saw consistency and if you think it wouldn’t curdle then do it.

          1. They say it’s a great replacement for coconut milk, because of the higher fat content in recipes. Making it tonight, we shall see.
            Thanks for your recipe and input.

          1. Hi Olena, I see a two of coconut oil in the ingredient list but don’t see where to add that in the Instant Pot. Was I supposed to put the oil in the pot before the onion?

      30. 5 stars
        This is my all time favorite lentil curry. It honestly tastes like a comfort food that I never knew I needed. Simple and delicious!

      31. 4 stars
        First time recipe. Vegetarian so substituted the oil with no salt veggie broth & light cocunut milk. Was delicious & have added to my recipes

        1. 5 stars
          All I can say is wow and a big one at that! I was browsing the web and found your recipe and am I glad I did. The only extra thing I added were 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup. Had mine with pumpkin mash because I couldn’t get the usual cauliflower rice I substitute for normal rice. I loved it! I have been looking for a go to easy to prep meal. This is it! Thank you so much.

      32. 5 stars
        I made this as a freezer meal with red lentils. The whole family loved the result! However, I think next time I would use crushed tomatoes to avoid the chunks (it’s just a texture thing for me). Thanks for sharing it!

          1. Have not made this yet but my daughter has several times for Vegan/Vegetarian friends and loves it. I am curious about your use of tomatoes. Is this replacing the paste or in addition to it? Other adjustments? Thank you.

            1. So happy to hear, Suzanne. Honestly I added fresh tomatoes for a pop of colour in the pics. Tasted good as well but totally optional. Enjoy!

      33. 5 stars
        Made this in the Instant Pot, so quick to put together, lentils were perfectly cooked and everyone liked it.
        I almost followed the recipe as written :). Used brown & green lentils, had no curry powder so eyeballed a mixture of curry spices (ground: chili, cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, mustard, bl pepper). When it had finished cooking I added some garam masala for extra depth of flavour. Leftovers were great.

      34. 5 stars
        I made this and was nervous about the time for the instant pot but made it as the recipe directed and it came out awesome. Delicious. Green lentil hold their shape so it didn’t turn to mush. Added some chunky carrots just cause I like them and used veg broth instead of water

      35. 5 stars
        Haven’t tried it yet but it gets 5 stars because I know I’ll love it. I’ll report back. And for anyone questioning how long to cook it, I say listen to Olena. She knows her stuff!! (Like do we disobey Waze? Not according to my past experience! Same with Olena lol!)

      36. I’m about to try this in my instant pot – 25 min sounds like a lot (my little IP recipe book says 4-6 min for green/brown lentils). Also, I plan to at least double it (I have the larger 8qt model) and that takes longer to heat up/cool down…
        Normally with a recipe like this I’d ‘saute’ the onions, garlic, spices, add the lentils & water, ‘manual’ for 4-6 min, use a natural pressure release (10 min) and then add the coconut milk & tomato paste. But now I’m torn. Do I try the IP directions indicated in the recipe above? (I don’t want to wreck supper! 🙂
        Has anyone else made this in the IP??

        1. With Instant Pot you add everything at once otherwise there is no point to use IP. Food cooked under pressure comes out more flavorful eliminating need for sauteing. Keep same cooking time for double ingredients. I wrote this recipe based on making it in my 8 quart numerous times. If you have doubts, just make it on the stove. Doesn’t matter how you cook it – it will taste the same.:)

      37. If I’m making this as a freezer meal for the instant pot, do I need to add the coconut oil? Or should I just leave it out? Thanks!

      38. 5 stars
        Delicious! I had everything in the house for this and was in the mood for curry so we gave it a go. I used Trader Joe’s light coconut milk and it worked well. I also threw in some cubed sweet potato, a large seeded and chopped tomato that had to be used and spiced it up with hot sauce but otherwise followed the recipe (for a change). This really hit the spot. Thanks!

      39. 5 stars
        This recipe is so good and so easy. I usually end up adjusting new recipes to better suit my family’s tastes but I won’t be changing a thing with this–it’s perfect as is! Thank you, Olena!

      40. 4 stars
        Hi, I am Jennifer from Calgary and have a hard time making toast.
        I have made this in the slow cooker, twice now. The first time, well uh, uh. Second time tho, perfecto. Almost. I just found it a little bland. Although quite enjoyable. Any suggestions?

        1. Lol u r cute! Yes the best way to jazz it up are the toppings after – cilantro, lime, green onion, sour cream and cheese. Or add more spices to taste to the curry itself.

      41. 5 stars
        Hello,

        I made this recipe the other day and it was a hit with my husband who doesn’t like green lentils. YAY!

        I did make some alterations:
        It’s tomato season here, so I used a large tomato in place of the paste.
        I soaked my lentils for a few hours first and used the same amount of water which made this a soup.
        Once the lentils were cooked, then I added the coconut milk. Coconut milk can curdle easily so I prefer to add at the end of cooking.
        I used a little bit more coriander than what the recipe calls for.

        Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

        1. You are very welcome, Jozette! Glad you made it work for your tastebuds. I fing quality coconut milk like Thai kitchen doesn’t curdle.

      42. 5 stars
        We are always looking for new vegan recipes to try. This dish is easy to make, and the Indian spicing is delicious. We will definitely make it again.

      43. Hello,

        I recently switched to a plant based diet (still eat eggs, soooo hard to NOT do eggs for breakfast) and i have been pretty blown away with this blog recipes, they look so fancy and easy to pull off 🙂

        Just one question – maybe a dumb one – the measures regarding this particular recipe refer to “tbs”.Is this a teaspoon or a tablespoon?

        Thank you

        1. Hi Tiago. So happy to hear that. Have you tried chia pudding for breakfast? I don’t eat plant-based but I rarely eat eggs for breakfast. I love chia pudding for breakfast!
          As a rule of thumb, in recipes tsp=teaspoon and tbsp=tablespoon. Please let me know how you like this lentil curry recipe.:)

      44. For the Instant Pot version, why don’t you saute the onions with spices first to get more depth of flavor, like you do with the Crockpot version? This is one of my favorite recipes! But I ditched my slow cooker after getting the Instant Pot, and wondering why you shouldn’t stir. Will it create the dreaded “burn” message?

        1. You don’t have to sauté with instant pot because food cooked under pressure comes out more flavourful than using slow cooker or stovetop.
          Yes and stir especially with tomato products cause Burn often.

      45. 5 stars
        I tried this recipe for the first time and it turned out soooo good! The flavours are just unbelievable! My whole family loved it it was finished within minutes! I didn’t have tomato paste and exchanged it with tomato sauce. Thanks a lot! I’ll be trying other meals as I really love the “healthy and simple” emphasis and the fact that various prep methods are so nicely outlined.

      46. Hi, I know this recipe is a few years old so this is a late comment but I’m hoping you still see them! This recipe looks so great and I’m planning out some freezer meals. I’m a little confused by the freezer meal directions though because it says to follow up to the final cooking step. If this is going to be an instant pot recipe does that mean I don’t cook anything? Just throw all the ingredients together as is and freeze? What about for the slow cooker? Thanks so much in advance!!

        1. Of course I check everything and reply and update older posts.:) Yes, it is not necessary to fry onion and garlic if using Instant Pot. Everything uncooked goes in frozen. Sorry, I will clarify that. In slow cooker, cook from frozen on Low for 9 hours or on High for 5 hours. In Instant Pot, cook from frozen for 25 minutes with Quick Release. Don’t forget to add 3 cups water before cooking. Have fun! I love freezer meals!

      47. 4 stars
        Made the slow cooker version almost exactly, but mine needed a bit more water cooked on high after 3 hours to keep going. Added some acid at the end (lime juice) and served over quinoa. Really good. Could use some heat, if you like that.

      48. 5 stars
        question – i made red lentils and it tastes good but it’s just a mush. How is it supposed to come out – how is it meant to be eaten?

        thanks! Great recipe

        1. Hi Andrea. This is green lentil curry. Red lentils do not hold their shape as well as green. Curry supposed to come out like in my pics, with green lentils. Flavour doesn’t change though.:) You eat it with Greek yogurt and whole wheat pita or naan, toasted or warmed is recommended.

          1. thanks! i know, i only had red lentils and really wanted to make it. Next time i’ll go with green and for now, this will be a thick soup. Which is anyway my favorite thing to eat.

      49. 5 stars
        This was a great and easy recipe!! Had multiple people try it and absolutely loved it. I made it, but added chicken which was nice touch!

      50. 5 stars
        This is fantastic! All I had was low fat coconut milk so that is what I used. I ended up freezing 1/2 and it was even better re heated. I ate it over fresh spinach.I have really liked all the recipes that I have made from your site. Thanks

      51. 5 stars
        Can you use red lentils with this recipe? I have made it with green in the past and loved it. I just couldn’t find green lentils this time!

      52. 5 stars
        I’ve made it twice, it turned out great! I want to be able to find it easily and share it with my networks. Would you please please post it to allrecipes? Its not my creation, so it doesn’t feel right copying it over myself!

        1. Hi Ashley. I appreciate you asking and not re-publishing my content. I make a living of off recipes I publish here and giving my own recipe to allrecipes would take that income away from me. I suggest you save the recipe to your main screen if you have an iphone, you know that rectangular button with an arrow at the bottom of each page?! Then you can easily access it. Also to share, I have Facebook, Pin and Email button on every page. Glad you enjoyed the recipe and hope this helps.

      53. I tried to make this today… it has been in the crockpot for 6 hours and it isn’t think… more like a soup! I am going to cook up some rice and pour it on that so we don’t waste it but any idea on where I may have gone wrong?

        1. Let it cook a few more hours, you won’t need rice or waste the green lentil curry. Lentils will absorb the liquid, don’t worry!:) Crockpots differ, yours might cook food slower.
          Also, have you stirred it?

          1. I cooked it longer and it thickened – we didn’t end up eating it on rice but was still a bit more of a soup texture. I actually liked it better the next day after it was in the fridge for a bit – found it thicker. Also, I realized I soaked my lentils overnight – I’m guessing this isn’t needed!? Could it be part of the reason it was more liquidy? I did stir it a couple times – should I not have!?
            I also added Sriracha sauce when I ate the leftovers and loooooved it that much more! Definitely attempting this again soon

            1. You don’t have to soak lentils. That’s reason one your curry was soupy. Secondly, every time you open a slow cooker you let the built up steam out and you have to add about an hour of cooking time. So mystery solved. You just leave slow cooker alone and let it do its job. 🙂

      54. 5 stars
        Really tasty. Easy to follow instructions and simple ingredients. I wouldn’t have thought of putting coconut milk and tomato paste together but it works really well. Really lovely taste ?

      55. 5 stars
        This is the best Indian food recipe I have ever seen so far. I like how you give your instruction in a very easy manner. I am an inspiring chef and I want to cook my very own curry soon.

      56. So I love curry…. I’m obsessed actually. I wonder how this would turn out without tomato paste. I just found out I have reactions to tomato paste and canned sauces as well as canned diced tomatoes. Not sure how mad my reaction is to fresh tomato as I don’t typically eat fresh tomatoes. I’ll try to remember to come back and update how it turns out ?

      57. 5 stars
        This is by far our family’s favorite lentil recipe – mostly because our kids, 10 and 6, can’t get enough of it!!! A dab of yoghurt and a sprinkle of fresh coriander has them asking for 2nd or even thirds!!!
        I add a dash of habanero sause to mine- but I food a little spicy,
        This is a MUST ADD to your recipe roledex!!
        Thank you!!!

      58. 5 stars
        This recipe was easy to follow. I didn’t have any cumin or coriander but used chili flakes and powder with curry. Came out amazing. The best lentils I’ve made ever. I will be remaking this and freezing some for the future.

      59. All I have are brown lentils… I buy them at a middle eastern bakery/deli. You say any kind,green or yellow but you did not mention brown.

        1. Hi Barbara. I have never seen or cooked brown lentils but from a quick search that I did I think you can use them. Any lentils work, the texture of final dish might be different. That is all.

      60. 5 stars
        This was super delicious, thank you! We ate it with romaine lettuce wraps, halved grape tomatoes and plain Greek yogurt!

      61. 5 stars
        I’m currently making this recipe. I kept it just as the cook/author wrote the recipe, BUT I doubled the spices and added a couple dashes of cayenne as we are all fire-breathing adults around this house!! YUMMY! I love all the flavors! Pinned it to my “Veganomics” board to be referred to again and again! Thank you!

      62. 5 stars
        This was really good! I discovered I was out of curry powder so had to use tikka paste, which had all the things in it. I also fried up some chunky mushrooms with a bit of cardamom and added that near the end. Awesome! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      63. 5 stars
        This is a wonderful recipe! I really appreciate that you added the Dutch oven instructions because I don’t have a slow cooker. I substituted coconut cream for half the coconut milk and it was extra creamy. Super bonus- my picky 2 year old ate two huge bowls of this!!

        1. Hi Darah. Glad to hear.:) Yes, any lentils. As long as you measure the same amount. The texture will be a bit different because red lentils fall apart more.

      64. 5 stars
        This is absolutely delicious and the BEST thing I have in months!!! Thank you!!!!!! I cooked it too long in the crock pot and it started to burn. I boiled more water and added it. my 3 year olds loved it!!!!

        1. Hi Allyson. Flattered to hear your munchkins approved. I started my kids on whole foods early too and now have barely any problem feeding them. It does pay off.

      65. This looks amazing, cant wait to try it! I am in the UK though and unsure what to use – here, we don’t have tomato paste in cans, we have tomato puree that comes in tubes, or passata in jars/cartons. Which do you think? Judging by the photo, I think puree is probably closer, but thought I’d ask! Thanks 🙂

        1. Hi Rachel. Yes it is puree. I just googled the image and it says “double concentrated” on Tesco brand. I remember my mom studying in England many years ago and she shopped at Tesco. So I figured that is what you have. Passata is just strained tomatoes that wouldn’t work in this recipe.

      66. for the stovetop method, is 45 min the correct cooking time? Just tried this as instructed, but my lentils are not soft. Like eating tiny pebbles. Should they cook longer?

        1. Hi Rebecca. I apologize for not replying sooner but my website was down all day due to hosting issues. We are working on it this week. Yes, you can cook longer. Not sure why this happened. Usually if I bring lentils to a boil and cook them covered on low 2 they take 45 mins. Definitely not more like beans.

        1. You are welcome! I can’t say I love all Indian food but some for sure. I’m not a fan of their sweets. Just very different…I’m sure Russian sweets might look the same lol

      67. 5 stars
        So tasty looking! My husband recently realized he likes lentils (yes!!!) and we have everything on hand to make this lentil curry. Pinning so I don’t loose track of your recipe!

          1. 5 stars
            I love this recipe! I like my indian food spicy, so I doubled each spice. I was out of cumin so replaced with two teaspoons garam masala, and I threw in a few cardamom pods. Was not overly spicy with these changes, especially since we ate it with brown rice. Thanks for the recipe.

            1. That works great! Amount of spices are a personal taste. I find ethnic people and certain North Americans like a NICE BIG punch of spices.:) Their small kids eat more spicy foods than my husband can handle LOL

      68. It’s late now. I want to make this in the morning to leave it but I don’t have coriander. Is it a deal breaker? Is there an alternative?

        1. It’s fine. Not a deal breaker. Adds nice flavour but it’s OK. You can taste curry once cooked and add cumin instead of coriander if desired.

        1. I eat curry on its own but you can serve it with whole wheat pita or bread. It is one pot meal and quite filling. My husband likes it with bread. 🙂

      69. 5 stars
        This was amazing! I did need to add extra water and this was done in about 2 hrs on Low heat. I added 15 oz diced tomatoes in juice which added to the flavor. Thinking about adding some garam masala.

      70. 5 stars
        I tried these tonight and LOVED them… Was looking for different healthy recipes for the new year and this DEFINETLY fit the bill! Thank you so much for posting this 🙂

        1. Yay! I love lentils too – cheap, fast, high in protein, great vegetarian alternative to meat, and one of my kids eats them. You are welcome!

      71. Only after buying all ingredients I realized that I need crock pot and I have never heard about it before (probably because I am from Denmark), but I am doing it old school on the stove and waiting for the result!

        1. I am sure it will turn out fine!!! I post many crock pot recipes because many readers are working moms. Let me know how it turns out.

        1. You are welcome. You can have this simmering in the crockpot, while you are whipping up your next healthy sweet creation.:)

      The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

      This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy. ifoodreal.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!