In a medium sauce pan, cook the onion in oil over medium heat, until softened and golden (about 5 minutes).
Add the garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, turmeric, chili, and salt. Cook for 1 minute, and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
At this point, add red lentils, tomatoes, and coconut milk. Cook, stirring often, for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are fully cooked and the stew has thickened up nicely.
Tips for the best Red Lentil Stew
Stir the lentils often. Lentils can easily get stuck to the bottom of the pan, so stir throughout the cooking process to avoid this.
Stick with red lentils. The red lentils will break down and soften during cooking, which is perfect for a stew. But other types, like green ones, are firmer and will add too much texture here.
Use a higher-fat coconut milk. This ingredient adds all that creamy deliciousness. If you go with a fat-free version, the stew will be thinner and more soupy.
Allow the stew to simmer for a bit. The red lentils will take a while to break down, so keep stirring and cooking so you get the thick, chunky stew you want.
How to Store
To store this Hearty Red Lentil Stew, place it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will last for up to 5 days. If you would like to freeze it, then place the stew in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. It can be frozen for 4-5 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.