by Olena

Green Lentil Curry (Video)

by Olena

4.9 from 17 reviews

Green Lentil Curry with green or brown lentils, coconut milk and simple Indian spices. Cook on a stove, in slow cooker or Instant Pot, or make a freezer meal.

Lentil Curry in a pot with a spoon

Lentil Curry

This lentil curry with green lentils, coconut milk, tomato paste and simple spices is an old recipe of mine that was screaming for picture makeovers. I also re-tested it to make slow cooker, Instant Pot and stove top friendly.

It is creamy, packed with delicious Indian flavors and healthy! Reader’s husbands of Indian descent give this lentil curry recipe 5 stars.:)

What Are the Best Lentils for Lentil Curry?

  • As name suggests, green lentils are a default.
  • Brown lentils will work just as fine. Both kinds are the most popular and retain their shape well. So, your coconut lentil curry will have a texture.
  • You can use red lentils if that is all you have. Just know that they fall apart during cooking which is better for a soup. But you can make easy lentil curry with red lentils too.

Quick Fact: Lentils are a source of protein, rich in iron, magnesium and folate. You do not have to soak lentils which makes them a fast cooking legume.

a jar with green and red lentils to use in lentil curry recipe

What Is the Best Coconut Milk to Use?

Not all canned coconut milk is the same. I sure have my favorites.

You sure want to use full fat and not low fat coconut milk that has been diluted with water. Coconut milk fat is “good fat” that can lower your bad LDL cholesterol level and increase good HDL cholesterol level, lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease (source). So, please eat it. In moderation like everything else good for you.:)

I like to buy brands that have clean ingredients list: coconut cream, water and guar gum at the most. Many cheaper brands contain preservatives. Also even some organic brands contain lumps. Organic and BPA free cans are a nice bonus.

My favorites are: 365, Thai kitchen, Trader Joe’s (coconut cream) and Compliments.

a can of coconut milk for coconut lentil curry

Make It a Freezer Meal, in Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

So, you have 3 options to cook this green lentil curry. It depends whether you want come home to “an Indian restaurant”, go for a quick walk or rather quickly whip it up on a stove top while sipping on a glass of wine and listening to Frank Sinatra.

It is also a freezer meal. You cook dinner from frozen in 1 minute. Isn’t that amazing?! Check out my full list of healthy freezer meals. I’m obsessed!

All options and cooking methods are outlined in the printable recipe card below.

a freezer meal bag with lentil curry ingredients to cook later in instant pot or slow cooker

What to Serve Lentil Stew With?

My absolute favorite way to serve this curry lentil stew is with a fresh salad. With Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, salt, pepper and oil. It gives it another layer of flavors.

Like yogurt is a must-have accompaniment to curry in Indian cuisine. So is a simple lettuce salad or cucumber and tomato salad for Ukrainian me.

Toasted naan bread or whole wheat pita goes amazing too. And plain yogurt to offset some spiciness. Although this lentil curry dal is not that spicy to keep it kid friendly.

Easy Green Lentil Curry served in a bowl with salad

Can I Freeze Leftovers?

Leftovers keep fresh in the fridge for 5-6 days.

Or you can freeze lentil curry in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I prefer glass. Thaw curry in a fridge overnight or on a counter for 5-6 hours. If you need dinner ASAP, simmer frozen curry covered on low with a splash of water, stirring occasionally.

More Yummy Healthy Curry Recipes to Try:

Enjoy!

Watch Olena Make Lentil Curry

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Print

Green Lentil Curry

4.9 from 17 reviews

Green Lentil Curry with green or brown lentils, coconut milk and simple Indian spices. Cook on a stove, in slow cooker or Instant Pot, or make a freezer meal.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove, Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 cups green lentils, uncooked & rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • Cilantro and/or green onions, for garnish
  • Greek yogurt and avocado, for serving

Instructions

  1. Stovetop: 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. Add turmeric, coriander, curry powder, cumin and salt; cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  2. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, water, lentils and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Slow Cooker: 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Instant Pot: 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Serve hot garnished with cilantro/green onions.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.

Freezer Meal for 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.

Freezer Meal for 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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

140 comments on “Green Lentil Curry (Video)

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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!)

  4. 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.:)

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