- Food and Cooking
Healthy Vegetarian Recipes - Lentil Curry
My Favorite Lentil Curry Recipe
This healthy Indian lentil curry recipe makes the best curried lentils I have tasted!
It's an easy vegetarian curry, or lentil dhal recipe, which is one of the best vegetarian curries I make and one of my favorite Indian lentil recipes ever. It's an authentic tasting Indian dish which is easy to make, cheap, comforting and healthy too!
I just love cooking Indian food, especially curry, and although there are lots of variations among the different lentil curry recipes, this, in my opinion, is the nicest of all my vegetarian curry recipes and most definitely the dhal recipe I make most often.
I make this easy and healthy curry the day before I want it and then the flavours infuse brilliantly making the tastiest curried lentils ever.
Introduction photo from my album
The Ingredients You Will Need To Make This Lentil Curry, Or Dal
This vegetarian curry is easy to make and has just a few basic ingredients making it a cheap, healthy, nourishing and yet flavorful, meal that has become a firm favourite in our house!
When cooking this lentil curry, or, lentil dahl I use equal amounts of four different types of lentils which I think gives this Indian curried lentils dish a much nicer texture.
I like to use mung beans, split red lentils, split yellow lentils and green lentils but you can easily substitute any one of them for a different type of lentil if that's what you have in your store cupboard. Just make sure that the lentils are well washed and those that need to be soaked are soaked overnight.
I know that if you are not used to cooking Indian food that it could perhaps be seen as a little bit daunting but this lentil curry recipe really is simple and straightforward, and uses ingredients that you should have no problems getting hold of. I really do recommend that you try it out.
Remember that there are no hard and fast rules in cooking so try out one of the variations and adjust it to your taste heat wise, and remember to come back and let me know how it went if you do decide to try your hand at this every day Indian dish.
The ingredients for this lentil curry recipe should make enough for 3 to 4 people, served with either basmati rice and/or naan bread, and, as a tangy chutney accompaniment to this vegetarian curry why not try my Easy Mango Chutney Recipe.
How Do You Rate This Vegetarian Curry?
- 1/3 cup Mung beans, soaked overnight
- 1/3 cup Split red lentils, washed
- 1/3 cup Split yellow lentils, washed
- 1/3 cup Green lentils, washed
- 1 tsp Fresh ginger, grated
- 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Green chilli, finely chopped
- 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbs Chopped tinned tomatoes, plus 1 tbs of the juice
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Garam masala
- 1 cup Coriander (cilantro), chopped
- Plain yoghurt or creme fraiche
Don't add too much water at first when cooking the curried lentils
***It's important that you do not add too much water at first as this might make your lentils go 'mushy' and lose the texture, it is easier to add more water if you need it!***
Well, I dont know about you but my knife skills are not all that great, especially when I cant see through the tears when I am chopping onions! So, this mini chopper is one of my favourite bits of kitchen equipment when a recipe calls for things to be finely chopped!
To make this healthy lentil dahl recipe just follow these easy instructions
- First of all wash the lentils and put them into the saucepan. Cover with boiling water to about ½ inch above the lentils. Bring to the boil and spoon away any ‘scum’ that rises to the surface.
- Season and reduce the heat to a simmer and add the turmeric, stir well and partly cover with a lid and simmer for between 30-40 mins stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary. When the lentils are ‘just’ cooked turn off the heat and leave them partially covered.
- While the lentils are cooking put 2 tsp oil in a small frying pan and fry the onions for about 1 minute before adding the chopped garlic. Fry until lightly golden then, if you have the mini chopper, whizz together the tomatoes and juice and add to the onion and garlic mix together with the ginger and chilli. Fry this until it resembles a dry, shiny paste.
- Add the paste and the garam masala to the cooling lentils and stir well. At this stage I usually leave the lentil curry until the next day to allow the flavours to develop, but you could add the finishing touches now if you don't want to do that.
- When you are ready to eat, gently reheat the lentil curry and roughly chop a handful of fresh cilantro (coriander). If you prefer your lentil curry to be a little bit creamier add a tablespoon of yoghurt or creme fraiche with most of the cilantro to the hot lentils and stir well then transfer to a warm dish and garnish with the rest of the cilantro and serve the curried lentils straight away with either boiled basmati rice or naan bread.
Vary This Lentil Curry Recipe Just By Adding An Extra Ingredient
Make potato lentil curry, eggplant lentil curry or lentil spinach curry.
I have varied this recipe for lentil curry by adding a few small, cooked new potatoes and leaving them in the curry overnight, by griddling baby eggplants (aubergines) and adding them to the lentil curry whilst it is reheating or by adding cooked spinach to the lentil curry whilst reheating to make a yummy lentil dahl with spinach, or how about trying a sweet potato and lentil curry. All taste fantastic!
For more vegetarian curry recipes try the following:
Easy Vegetable Curry by Gordon Ramsay
Chickpea, potato and kale curry - A vegetarian curry from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Some people ask "is curry healthy"?
Yes, curry, can certainly be healthy and delicious too!
Sometimes it's hard to believe how something like a curry can be so tasty and healthy too. But Slimming World show us how it can be done in their book 'Curry Feast'. So, if you are on a diet or worried about losing weight eating curries this may be the book for you!
With dishes from across India, Thailand and Malaysia, you can make your favorite healthy curry at home.
Although it's recipes cater for meat eaters too there are some lovely vegetarian curry recipes too including tarka dhal, chana masala, spiced beetroot with coconut and Mumbai aloo (cumin-scented potatoes). Add to that a selection of pickles and chutneys and you can make a perfectly healthy but delicious curry at home.
If you're looking for healthy recipes then this book is an absolute must for us curry lovers who want to lose weight!
Amazon.com customers please follow the link below for:
- 100 g red lentils (washed)
- 450 ml vegetable stock
- 1 small onion
- grated or finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- grated or finely chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 " piece ginger
- Â½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 red chilli
- finely chopped
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 tbs choppped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Salt to taste
Red Lentil And Sweet Potato Curry
This curry made with red lentils and sweet potato makes an excellent mid week dinner, the flavours are really nice though those spice fiends among you may want to increase the amount of chilli and garam masala slightly. I have also added cardomom seeds and or cumin in the past which gives it a nice, fragrant flavour.
The curried red lentil dahl could also be made with tinned lentils if you want to reduce the cooking time even further.
The thing is, just experiment! If you like a certain spice or ingredient more than others then try substituting it.
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 25 min
- Ready in: 30 min
- Yields: 2
- Gently fry the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger in the oil over a low/medium heat for about 4-5 minutes stirring all the time to make sure that the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add the turmeric and garam masala and stir into the onions and spices until covered.
- Transfer the mix to a saucepan and add the lentils, stock and tomatoes bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occaisionally.
- Add the sweet potato and cook for about anouther 10 to 12 minutes until tender.
- The red lentil curry is now ready to serve but is even better if made in advance to this stage and reheated when you are ready to eat.
- Before serving heat through, season and stir in the chopped coriander.
- Serve with warm naan bread.
- As a variation you can try substuting the coriander with spinach, or, how about using butternut squash instead of the sweet potato?
- If you do use butternut squash I would increase the cooking time slightly until it is nice and tender.
Cheats Quick And Easy Lentil Curry (With Spinach) - When you don't have time to make the lentil curry from scratch...
Lets face it, we don't always have the time to make our meals from scratch all of the time. When we get in from work, sometimes all we want to do is relax and not spend hours in the kitchen. In that case we want something that will take less than half an hour to cook and be on the table, ready to eat.
This quick and easy lentil curry should take less than 30 minutes to prepare using store cupboard ingredients, and still has a great taste.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until they have softened. Add the garlic and continue frying for a further 1 to 2 minutes.
- Now stir in the curry paste, stir well and fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes and lentils together with the stock and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Now add the spinach, stir and gently heat through. When the spinach is heated through remove the pan from the heat and stir in most of the chopped coriander.
- Garnish the curry with the rest of the coriander and serve with warm naan bread.
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- crushed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons curry paste (I use the balti curry paste)
- 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
- 400 g can green lentils (drained)
- 400 g can spinach (drained) or use the equivalent in frozen spinach
- 150 ml vegetable stock
- 20 g chopped coriander
Simple One Pot Red Lentil Curry Recipe
This red lentil curry is really easy to make in just one pot!
Adjust the spices to your taste, I like things quite spicy so perhaps would more chilli and curry powder, but it all depends on how you like it.
I like to add some coriander or yoghurt at the end of cooking but if you don't like them, or don't have any, its ok.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: less than 30 mins
Serves: 3 to 4
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder - to your taste
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 150 g red lentils
- About 3/4 litre vegetable stock
- About 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- A handful of chopped coriander - optional
- Tablespoon of plain yoghurt - optional
- Rinse the lentils well.
- Heat the oil, over a medium heat, in a large Nonstick Saucepan and fry the unions until they are soft and start to go brown.
- Add the garlic and spices to the onions in the pan and stir together, then add the lentils and about 600ml of the stock (the rest of the stock may be required if the lentil curry starts to get a bit dry in the cooking).
- Turn up the heat and bring the stock to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender, adding the rest of the stock a little at a time if the curried lentils start to get dry.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped coriander and/or yoghurt if using, spoon into warmed bowls and serve with warm nan bread.
Green Lentil Curry - This green lentil and vegetable curry makes a satisfying mid week supper for 4
As ever, this lentil curry recipe can be made ahead and re heated when you are ready to eat
If you can't get savoy cabbage, or don't like it, then try using kale instead. I find kale to be slightly more bitter than the cabbage but it does work well in this dish.
- Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small shallot very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 1/4 cups dried green lentils
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- A good handful chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 100 g green beans
- 100 g savoy cabbage
- 1 carrot
- About 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Peel and grate the ginger finely and grind the garlic clove to a paste then, in a small jug or bowl, mix them together with the coriander, cumin and about 1/4 cup of water so that you have something resembling a paste.
- Chop the beans into lengths of about 3/4", tinly slice the carrot and finely chop the savoy cabbage.
- Place the lentils in a saucepan together with about 1 1/4 liters of water, add the turmeric and bring to the boil. Partially cover with the lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the lentils are almost, but not quite, tender. Now add the beans, savoy cabbage, carrot, cayenne and 3/4 of the chopped cilantro, then season with salt. Cook for a further 15 minutes until the lentils and vegetables become tender.
- While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a small pan and add the cumin seeds and briefly cook (about 5 to 10 seconds) over a high heat until they just begin to sizzle. Next add the shallot, stir and fry for about 1 minute until golden brown. Add the spice paste,stir, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, at this stage most of the liquid should have evaporated.
- Mix the tomato puree with a tablespoon of water and stir into the shallot and spice mixture and continue cooking, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked spice paste and the rest of the cilantro to the cooked lentils and vegetables, stir well and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Serve the vegetable and green lentil curry with either naan bread or plain basmati rice.
Lentils, do you love them or hate them?
I have to confess that before I made this vegetarian lentil curry, or lentil dal, I had never tried any vegetarian lentil recipes before, I always thought that lentils were a bland and boring ingredient to cook with, in fact I very rarely cooked meatless recipes at all, I certainly didn't know how to cook dhal.
I now hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong! I think that dal curry made from lentils is great because lentils are good at absorbing the different flavors of the ingredients and spices, and this lentil curry recipe is one of the best lentil recipes ever.
But what is your opinion of lentils?
Do you like lentils as an ingredient when you are cooking?
Find More Ideas For Great Lentil Recipes
Lots of ideas for lentil recipes
My lentil curry recipe is an easy dinner recipe which gave me a taste for lentils and I wanted to find more ways to use them in recipes, for more ways to use lentils take a look at my Vegetarian Shepherds Pie Recipe, and check out the books below for even more great ideas for lentil recipes.
This outstanding book deserves at least 10 stars! It rates as one of the best cookbooks I own. The recipes are carefully and beautifully written, as well as delicious. I feel as though Ms. Abadi is standing in my kitchen, by my side, as I prepare each recipe, making sure that it tastes just right. Buy this book, you will be very glad you did.
Lentil Curry And Other Lentil Recipes From Your Favorite Celebrity Chefs - Try more great lentil curry and other lentil recipes
I didn't realise when I made up the recipe for lentil curry on this lens that I even liked lentils, it was the first lentil recipe I tasted that I thought was really yummy!
Since then I have tried other lentil recipes and really enjoyed them, so, experiment, try out some of the lentil recipes from your favourite chefs until you find the lentil recipe that is perfect for you.
- Gordon Ramsay's Rajasthani red lentil curry
Serves 4 Ingredients 225g split pigeon pea lentils (tuvar dal) or red split lentils, washed 2 cloves Â½ cinnamon stick 4 black peppercorns 1 litre water 2.
- Madhur Jaffrey's daily dal
Lentil Curry (Dal) By Madhur Jaffrey
- Roasted tomato and red lentil soup by Gordon Ramsay
This soup is delicious served with a dollop of crÃ¨me fraÃ®che or yoghurt, and torn basil leaves.
- Potato and lentil curry - Paul Rankin
Paul Rankin cooks up a vegetarian curry treat that's a favourite of his family
- Lentil Curry - Martha Stewart
Get Martha Stewart's Lentil Curry recipe.
- Lentil and Vegetable Curry - from Delia Online
Lentils and other pulses are invaluable if you need to eat cheaply - not only do they fill you up but they are also an important source of pure protein and less expensive than chicken or meat. This spicy veggie curry is a good example.