Red lentils are simmered with spices and spinach in this easy to make and totally comforting vegetarian red lentil curry. Family friendly and easily adapted to vegan, this soul warming meatless meal comes together in about 30 minutes with minimal effort.
When it comes to meatless meals, lentils are hands down my favourite source of protein. I love the variety of them and their versatility. Lentils can be anything from tacos, to soup, to warm and comforting curry - like this red lentil curry.
With just about 30 minutes of cooking time and most of that just letting the lentils simmer away, these curried lentils are super easy to prepare a
Easily one of my favourite vegetarian winter meals, there is just SO much to love about this dish.
- it's made from pantry ingredients
- it's a healthy and flavourful meatless meal
- it's SO easy to make
- it's freezer friendly
- it's budget conscious
Do you have a bag of red lentils hanging around in the cupboard just begging to be eaten? If so, this curry is for you - and it might even end up in your weekly meal rotation - pro tip: make a double batch and put half up in the freezer for a later meal, it's THAT good!
As this recipe is written, it is a vegetarian dish. I like to stir in a bit of butter after the lentils have cooked to add a bit of extra flavour and creaminess, but if you would like to keep this curry vegan you can just leave this step out - the dish is just as delicious without the butter as it is with it.
How to make red lentil curry
Start by heating a large saucepan and adding a bit of oil. Lightly saute the onions, garlic, and ginger for a couple of minutes before adding the spices and cooking for another minute or two until the fragrance from the spices fills the air.
When the onions are soft, add the red lentils and the water.
Bring the saucepan to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the lentils.
Cook covered for about 15 minutes before removing the cover and cooking for another 10 minutes or so. At this point, the lentils should be nice and soft, but not completely broken down.
Stir in the butter (this is optional - if you want to keep it vegan please skip this step) and the chopped spinach.
Stir until the spinach has wilted then serve over basmati rice.
Dietary Considerations and Accommodations
This recipe for red lentil curry is suitable for the following diets:
- vegan (when you omit the butter)
- gluten free, dairy free, and allergy friendly
More recipes you’ll love!
If you like this red lentil curry, you might want to check out some of our other vegetarian lentil recipes:
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Red Lentil Curry
- 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ onion - diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup butter - (optional)
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach
- Heat a large saucepan to medium low heat and add the oil
- When the oil is heated, add the onion, ginger and garlic to the pan then saute for a few minutes until the onions begin to sweat
- Add the garam masala, curry powder and turmeric to the onions and saute for a minute or two more
- Add the lentils, water and sea salt to the saucepan and give everything a good stir.
- Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Cover the saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes before uncovering and simmering for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, then stir in the butter (if using) until it melts
- Add the chopped spinach and stir through until the leaves have wilted
- Serve with basmati rice
* nutritional information is calculated by online tools and may not be 100% accurate.