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Red Lentil Curry

Creamy and delicious, this Red Lentil Curry is so good. Hearty ingredients and flavorful seasonings give this dish the perfect texture and flavor that you'll want to serve again and again.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 342kcal


  • 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger piece, minced
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, diced


  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. chili powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • tsp. black pepper

The rest of the Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes or puree fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice or lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  • In a large skillet, saute the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Then, add the curry, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder, and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Next, add the broth, red lentils, and the crushed tomatoes to the skillet. Stir nicely, lifting up the browned bits. Add the salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the lentils are cooked, add the coconut milk, lemon juice, and cilantro. Stir everything well and cook for about 10 more minutes, or until the curry thickens to the desired consistency.



You can find serving and freezing tips, how to make it in the Instant Pot, and possible substitutions in the post above.

Tips for the best Red Lentil Curry

  • Use full-fat coconut milk. For the richness and creaminess that you want, you'll need to use the full-fat version. Or substitute unsweetened oat creamer. But avoid lite or fat-free versions.
  • Adjust the level of heat. If you like it spicy, use a serrano pepper. But if even the jalapeno is too spicy for you, skip it altogether. You can also remove the pepper's seeds to get a milder heat.
  • Try fresh turmeric. Ground turmeric works fine in this dish, but fresh imparts even more flavor and health benefits. If you can find it, grating some into this dish would up the level of flavor.
  • Adjust cook time if necessary. Variables like how shallow your skillet or pot is and if you're using red lentils or split red lentils can alter how much time is needed to cook this curry. So keep an eye on it when you get close to the end of the cook time.

How to store leftovers

You can store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container, They will stay fresh for about 3-4 days.


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 973mg | Potassium: 704mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 599IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 8mg