This Vegan Lentil Curry is a healthful one-pot meal packed with layers of flavor, using ingredients easy to find at your grocery store. Perfect for a meatless Monday dinner, or any time your meal planning could use a reset button.
The culinary school I went to focused on very classical French techniques (something like a lentil pasta sauce would be unheard of in the classical textbooks). Before dawn, the Baking students would get started on all-butter croissants.
At the same time, the students running the school’s restaurant would be roasting veal bones for stock. An hour later, the Breakfast & Pantry class would come in and begin making hollandaise sauce.
The Pastry students came in later and would go to the storeroom refrigerator to retrieve an ungodly amount of butter for their tasks that day. The rhythm of the school was the same, day after day, year after year.
And in the middle of all of the animal bones and eggshells, was a chef instructor who ate a vegan, raw food diet. Well, he ate that diet at home.
His job made it impossible to eat that way while he was instructing, as he had to taste all of his student’s work. But yeah, in his free time, he was a vegan.
Because of him, the students learned at least one vegan dish in those school kitchens that were usually full of roasted chicken and poached eggs.
He taught some classes how to make savory oatmeal for dinner. On my rotation, this assignment was vegan lentil curry.
The ingredients for Vegan Lentil Curry are easy to find at your grocery store!
- tomato paste
- curry powder
- vegetable broth
- coconut milk
About this Vegan Lentil Curry:
Whenever I’ve had a few days or a weekend (or a vacation!) of eating kind of poorly, Greek yogurt pasta and this vegan lentil curry are like a reset buttons for me.
The multi-step cooking technique really shows you how easy it is to build flavor, with any type of ingredients.
Start by cooking some onion and carrots, and then you’ll be adding some spices, fresh ginger and tomato paste. You’ll cook those things a few minutes to really toast the spices and brown the tomato paste a little bit.
Then finally, you add your lentils and liquid and cook until the lentils are tender. Stir in some coconut milk (also the star ingredient in my coconut risotto) at the end for vegan creaminess!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and draind
- 1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
- Prepared white or brown rice, for serving (optional)
- Fresh mint, lime wedges and pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)
- In Dutch oven or other medium pot with tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots and onion, cook 4 to 6 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in garlic, tomato paste, curry powder, ginger, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in broth and lentils; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 35 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed by lentils, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in coconut milk; increase heat to medium. Cook uncovered 5 minutes or until curry thickens slightly, stirring frequently.
- Serve curry with rice and garnish with mint, lime wedges and pomegranate seeds, if desired.
Home Chef Tip: You can use any variety of dried lentils for this curry. I've made it with brown, green and beluga lentils, and it turns out great each time. Cooking time may vary by a few minutes based on what kind of lentil you are using, so just test for doneness as the curry simmers and adjust cooking time accordingly.
More great lentil recipes:
- Warm Sautéed Apple & Lentil Salad – so good for lunch!
- Slow Cooker Lentil & Sausage Soup – set it and forget it.
- Lentil & Mushroom Stuffing – bookmark this for gluten-free Thanksgiving option!
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup – no sautéing necessary!
- Lentil Burrito – an oldie but a goodie.
- One Pot Green Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Kale from Rachel Cooks
- Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos from Melanie Makes