Coconut Curried Lentils
This deliciously creamy curried coconut lentils recipe makes a hearty, comforting vegetarian dinner with leftovers to last all week. It's a favorite.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.