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red lentil curry served over bowl of rice and garnish with cilantro
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4.92 from 12 votes

Coconut Red Lentil Curry

One pot coconut red lentil curry will soon become your go-to protein packed vegetarian meal that is so full of flavors! Packed with flavors of fresh spices of ginger, garlic, turmeric, curry packed and balanced out with rich coconut milk makes the curry THE BEST BUDGET FOOD! There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of rice with hearty, filling curry.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 344kcal


  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 onion diced
  • 12 oz canned tomato
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ¼ tablespoon ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper adjust as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder optional I skipped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 ½ cups vegetables stock or water
  • 350 ml thick coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon butter

For garnish:

  • Fresh Cilantro

To serve:

  • Rice


  • Use a deep bottom pot for cooking.
  • Heat oil in the pot. Then saute diced onions, minced ginger and minced garlic. Saute until onions turn pink, ginger-garlic is fragrant. Do not brown the onions.
  • Add serrano pepper (optional) and canned tomato into the pot. Cook for few minutes until you see oil separating from the sides of the pan.
  • Add all the spice powders – turmeric powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything and let it cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add in red lentils.
  • Pour vegetable stock. Stir everything until well combined.
  • Cover pot with the lid and cook on medium flame until lentils are cooked through and tender.
    Note: open lid to check the lentils at regular times. Add water or stock if the pot is too dry.
  • Once lentils are cooked, stir in thick coconut milk.
  • Add in a big chunk of butter and lemon juice. Mix everything.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve over a bowl of rice immediately! Enjoy!



  1. Sauteing onion-ginger-garlic in oil on low flame until the raw smell disappears is important. When sauteed well the curry will be fragrant and taste better. Very important do not want to brown or burn onion-garlic-ginger!
  2. Cook tomatoes until it’s cooked through, until you see oil separating on the sides of the pan.
  3. Do not add too much liquid. Curry should be saucy, creamy.
  4. To avoid splitting of coconut milk, add it in the end once lentil is cooked through.
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 669mg | Potassium: 679mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 6mg