Curried Red Lentils with Coconut Milk and Vegetables

Curried Red Lentils with Coconut Milk and Vegetables

Curried Red Lentils with Coconut Milk

From Small Victories by Julia Turshen

This recipe has become a favorite dish in our house and there are rarely leftovers. It’s simple, the flavors are delicious and a bowl of this warm curry is perfect for cooler fall nights.  Plus, it’s a great way to use up vegetables – eggplant, potato, tomato, summer squash, cauliflower – most vegetables will work very well in this dish.


Be sure to use fresh spices.  Worn out spices will not give you the rich, delicious flavor this dish can deliver with fresh, fragrant cumin, whole coriander (we start with whole and grind) and turmeric.  We prefer Frontier Co-op organic spices.


1/4 c olive oil
2 T peeled, fine minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, smashed into paste
1 onion, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 c split red lentils
1 lb chopped mixed vegetables such as eggplant, summer squash, carrots, potato
2 tomatoes, diced
2 – 13.5 oz cans full fat coconut milk


In large sauce pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ginger, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin and turmeric – cook, stirring now and then – until onions are softened and spices are fragrant, about 10 minutes.


Add the lentils, chopped mixed vegetables, diced tomato, coconut milk, 2 tsp salt.  Fill the two coconut milk cans with water or broth and add to sauce pan.  It will look like a lot of liquid but the lentils will absorb it while they cook.  Stir, turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil.


Turn heat to low and allow lentils to simmer, stirring occasionally until they are completely soft and broken down and veggies are tender.  The lentils will become smooth and thicken the curry.  Season to taste with salt. Serve as is or over rice with plain organic yogurt and mint or cilantro.