Coconut Curried Lentils

Coconut Curried LentilsI think lentils are the ultimate satisfying comfort food.

Adarsh, however, grew up on them and turns his nose up at them like a 3 year old refusing stinky, overcooked broccoli. Lentils and soup – two foods I love and this man hates. Deep sigh.

After years of trying, I think I’ve finally brought him over to my side of the lentil fence. I don’t know what it is about this recipe that he likes so much – maybe the fragrant coconut milk? Maybe the toasty little coconut ribbons I showered over his plate? Maybe the absence of heavy spices typical to Indian dahl curries?

I’m not going to overanalyze, I’m just excited that he enthusiastically gobbled up lentils three days in a row. They are going to be on a bi-weekly rotation now, I think…

Coconut Curried Lentils

I used split red lentils in this recipe, but you can use any lentil variety you like or have on hand. The lentils are cooked separately in boiling water before being simmered into the flavourful sauce, so you can easily adjust the cooking time.

Coconut Curried Lentils
In other news, I broke a rib. Bathing the baby. With bubbles and rubber duckies and extra-soft washcloths. BROKE a RIB.

I lost my balance and toppled ribs-first into the side of the bathtub. It really hurts, in case you were wondering what it feels like.

This is my second broken bone in 3 months (pinkie toe casualty in November). Once I regain full range of motion I’m going to bubble wrap myself.

Coconut Curried Lentils
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
I served the curry with black rice - it's super nutritious and I love the pretty contrast.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried red lentils, or any lentil variety (OR 4 cups canned)
  • ¼ cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tbsp finely grated ginger, packed
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds (you may substitute whole cumin seeds, or same amount ground cumin)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 400-mL can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt (or 1½ tsp table salt), or to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup dried coconut ribbons, optional
Instructions
  1. Rinse lentils and bring to a boil in a large pot of water; reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until fully tender – 30-45 minutes depending on type and how fresh they are.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in another large pot or dutch oven. Add onion and cook until soft and golden, about 15 minutes – don’t rush this step; reduce heat of onions are browning too quickly.
  3. Stir in garlic and ginger, cook 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, turmeric and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes (be careful, mustard seeds may pop). Stir in tomatoes and coconut milk; reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are finished cooking.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread coconut ribbons on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, approximately 6 minutes (but watch closely, they burn fast!).
  5. Add fully cooked lentils to coconut sauce and give a good stir. Season with salt by pinches, then simmer on for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve topped with toasted coconut and sprinkled with more cilantro.

 

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14 Reviews

  1. wvanillasugar

    February 16, 2014 4:52 pm - Reply

    Lentils made like this are my FAV! Love this recipe!

  2. Cooking for Keeps

    February 16, 2014 10:11 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous!!

  3. JewelatEatDrinkShopLove

    February 17, 2014 9:06 am - Reply

    This is one of my favorite dishes. Your photos are gorgeous!

  4. foodess

    February 17, 2014 12:03 pm - Reply

    JewelatEatDrinkShopLove  Thank you!

  5. bhatdixy

    February 18, 2014 7:41 am - Reply

    im so sorry about the broken ribs – take care friend. I grew up with Daal and still love them..I like the coconut ribbon, lovely. pictures.

  6. foodess

    February 18, 2014 12:06 pm - Reply

    bhatdixy  Thanks Dixya :)  I love all kinds of daal too!

  7. Liz

    February 20, 2014 7:39 am - Reply

    Thanks again for the dinner inspiration! I made this tonight and it was delicious! Mine turned out more like a soup, but that was just fine. I threw in a few handfuls of spinach and served it over basmati rice.

  8. foodess

    February 21, 2014 11:07 am - Reply

    @Liz  May I ask what kind of lentils you used – were they canned?  Wondering why yours turned out soupy! But glad you enjoyed!!!

  9. Martha Anhalt

    February 22, 2014 5:39 am - Reply

    Oh wow! Making these !
    I’ll let y’all know how it turns out. It must be a divine message because I have a had a bag of red lentils in pantry and didnt know what to do with them.
    Sorry about the rib, loved the bubble wrap idea!

  10. Liz

    March 2, 2014 12:08 pm - Reply

    you know, I put my message in too soon. The lentils thickened when they cooled down. This dish made for FABULOUS leftovers

  11. Francesca

    March 16, 2014 4:23 pm - Reply

    Oh Wow! This looks divine. Nice work :)

  12. Sara Struckman

    March 17, 2014 6:46 pm - Reply

    Once again, delicious! We’ve been making dal for years, but this recipe is fantastic – a new favorite. We cheat a little and pair it with jasmine rice and tortilla chips. Seems completely inappropriate, but it’s so good!

  13. Margo

    March 19, 2014 11:03 am - Reply

    If i was making fresh coconut milk, how much do I need in this recipe?

  14. lori

    April 6, 2014 11:31 am - Reply

    I lOVE your site! The photos, writing and your beautiful baby are divine!