This Vegan Lentil Curry is a delicious and mild curry dish that is easily a family favorite. Plus, it’s a one-pot meal for a simple cooking process (and easy clean-up!). The lentils meld with the other flavors as the dish gently simmers, filling the kitchen with hearty aromas.
Lentils have become a staple in our house. They’re so great to have in the pantry when you may not have other fresh ingredients on hand. Also, lentils are great to use as a batch / meal prep to keep in the fridge for various meals. I’ll share some easy ideas for ways you can add cooked lentils to your meals further below in this blog post. However for this dish, the lentils cook right in the curry pot.
The great things about this dish
- It’s a one-pot dish
- You can easily add vegetables if you like
- It’s mild in spice, to please everyone (spice it up by adding chili flakes)
- It’s super satiating and cozy
- It uses mainly pantry items
- It can be made in a larger batch to have as a meal prep
how this dish comes together easily
- In a large pot, add oil and onions.
- Add other seasonings and toast to develop flavor.
- Add liquids and lentils, simmer.
some helpful items for this dish
This wonderful spice box has come in handy so much for my Indian-inspired dishes like this Vegan Lentil Curry, or my other recent favorite Vegan Chickpea and Mushroom Curry.
You may have noticed that I use coconut milk in my curries as a delicious plant-based creamy base or as an add-in for the sauce. I try to keep a few cans on hand in the pantry when I’m in the mood for a creamy dish!
Some delicious ways to use cooked lentils in your meals
- Make a lentil salad by adding vinaigrette along with whatever veggies you have on hand; add greens like arugula, massaged kale, watercress or spring mix.
- Make a lentil wrap using a flatbread or tortilla by adding in seasonings to your lentils and wrapping them up with some salsa, hummus, guacamole/avocado, or all of the above. Toss in some red onion and/or greens if you have them.
- Add lentils to your favorite pasta sauce, as a topping for… drumroll…PASTA! Or, for rice or another grain.
- Use lentils as a base for curry by sauteing some onion, adding cooked lentils, spices, and tomato and/or coconut milk.
- Make a cold or room temperature lentil salad without the greens: instead add finely chopped carrot, chopped tomato, avocado, other beans like chickpeas, and fresh (or dried) herbs, olives, marinated artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers…the possibilities are endless.
Vegan Lentil Curry
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger paste or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 3/4 cup marinara or tomato sauce
- 1 can coconut milk full-fat
- 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth for cooking process approximate
- fresh cilantro chopped for serving
- red chili flakes for serving optional
- In a large pan, add oil, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add other seasonings in the ingredients list, stir and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add lentils, tomato sauce, and coconut milk, stir well. Bring to a boil then immediately lower heat to a very low simmer (lightly bubbling) and cover with a lid.
- Cook the lentils (covered with a lid) for 25 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Cook another 15 to 20 minutes while watching for the liquid level, still covered. You may want to add approximately 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth or water during this part of the cooking process. You want the lentils to be soft yet not mushy.
- Serve with cilantro or other fresh herbs as desired, and optional red chili flakes.