This Indian Coconut Lentil Curry recipe is naturally vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. It is perfect for busy weeknights, because it is hearty, healthy, and ready to eat in just 30 minutes. Learn how to make homemade coconut lentil curry with this quick and easy recipe!
Coconut Lentil Curry: A Healthy Indian Dinner Recipe
You are going to love this creamy vegetarian curry made with canned lentils, coconut milk, and fresh spinach. It is packed with plant-based protein and is so unbelievably simple to make. Perhaps best of all, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry!
Usually when you read Indian curry recipes, they include a large number of spices in the ingredient list that many people don’t readily have on hand. So, I developed a recipe that uses curry powder, which contains a variety of fragrant Indian spices that have been ground up and mixed together in one handy package. Only a small amount of curry powder is used in this recipe. That way the lentil curry has just the slightest hint of warm Indian spices, without overpowering the rest of the flavors in the dish.
This nutritious Indian Coconut Lentil Curry is an ideal weeknight dinner recipe, because it delivers maximum flavor in minimal time. Serve it with cooked basmati rice or warm naan bread for a balanced, satiating meal.
This recipe would be great for entertaining or taking along to a potluck. Since it is naturally vegan, plant-based, and gluten-free, it is suitable for many people following special diets. It is also perfect for meal prepping, so feel free to make a batch ahead of time to have on hand for the coming week.
How to Make Indian Coconut Lentil Curry
This lentil curry with coconut milk is one of those recipes that tastes like you’ve simmered it gently for hours. Fortunately, it takes less time to make than your favorite Indian restaurant takes to deliver. Here’s how you’re going to get curry in a hurry:
- Make the flavor base: Cook the onion, garlic, ginger, and curry powder in a bit of coconut oil until fragrant.
- Pour in the liquids: Add the crushed tomatoes and coconut milk, then simmer.
- Stir in the lentils and spinach: Season the curry sauce with S&P to taste, then add in the lentils and spinach.
- Serve: Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired, then serve with rice and/or naan bread.
That’s it! This is truly an easy Indian curry recipe that is absolutely bursting with flavor. See the full recipe below for detailed ingredient amounts and complete recipe instructions/directions.
Possible Recipe Variations
This coconut lentil curry recipe is very flexible with regards to variations. For example, feel free to…
- Add a bit of heat: To give the curry a more piquant flavor, you can add in a few pinches of cayenne powder or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Use different greens: Kale or collard greens would also be delicious in place of the spinach.
- Add more seasoning: For a more intense curry flavor, you can increase the amount of curry powder to your liking or add in some garam masala.
- Add extra vegetables: Feel free to toss in any other mild curry-friendly veggies that you have on hand, such as bell peppers, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or peas.
Those are just a few suggestions, so feel free to experiment with whatever ingredient swaps or additions that sound good to you. 🙂
Can You Freeze Lentil Curry?
Yes, this coconut lentil curry freezes beautifully. I recommend separating a batch/leftovers into smaller portions in freezer-safe containers and placing the containers in the freezer. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator or out on the counter for quick dinners during extra-busy weeknights.
More Curry-Infused Recipes to try
Craving more spicy, exotic cuisine? Here are some of my favorite curried recipes on the blog:
- Quick Indian Chicken Curry
- Thai Coconut Curry Rice
- Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup
- Coconut Chickpea Curry
- Thai Spicy Noodle Soup
For this Indian Coconut Lentil Curry recipe, I recommend:
Here are a few items I suggest using for best results when making this recipe:
- Viva Naturals Coconut Oil – I always use this unrefined, virgin, and organic coconut oil for optimal flavor and health benefits.
- McCormick Curry Powder – This is the curry powder I use! The quality is excellent and it gives a rich, fragrant and well-rounded flavor to soups and curries.
- Ultra Chef Express Food Chopper – This is the one I have and it is one of my most-used kitchen tools. I use mine all the time to quickly chop up vegetables. I especially love using it to dice onions, because it saves me from all the tears!
If you make this easy Indian Coconut Lentil Curry recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡
Indian Coconut Lentil Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 (15-ounce) can lentils, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups chopped packed fresh spinach
- Optional garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Stir in the tomatoes and coconut milk. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Add the lentils. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for about 3 minutes, until wilted. Serve warm, garnished with cilantro if using.
- Serve your coconut lentil curry with rice or naan for a satisfying meal.
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week or can be frozen for up to three months.
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