If you’re craving something warm, filling and jammed with savory vegan goodness, look no further. This coconut lentil curry, featuring protein rich lentils coconut, ginger and aromatic spices ticks all the boxes!
Ethnic foods are more popular than ever right now and no wonder! They offer variety and unique flavor profiles that expand our eating enjoyment.
My recipe for Coconut Lentil Curry is no exception. Based mostly on Indian dal and put together in my own American style, with seasonings I love, you’ll find this dish both easy to prepare and delicious.
Red lentils are the star of the show here, with ginger, cilantro, onion, garlic, serrano peppers and coconut milk, bringing in all the spiciness and zest you could ask for.
Ingredient Spotlight for Coconut Lentil Curry
If any of these ingredients are new for you that’s great. You get to have a new cooking experience! If you want to, just for fun, you can buy them at an ethnic grocery store, but that’s not a requirement. Your local grocery store should carry everything you need.
Red Lentils- Red lentils (actually orange looking) are mild tasting, cook quickly and take on the flavors of herbs and spices combined with them. Nutrition conscious cooks will be jazzed to know that a cup of red lentils packs around 17.9 grams of vegan friendly protein and 15.6 grams of fiber. You can substitute another type of lentil, but expect a little longer cooking time.
Fresh Ginger- Ginger adds depth and authenticity to this recipe. It also boasts many health benefits, like lowering blood sugar and helping digestive issues. If ginger is NOT your jam, just leave it out. Your coconut lentil curry will still be yummy.
Full Fat Coconut Milk- This ingredient brings lots of tasty richness and ties everything together. If you’re concerned about saturated fat, cut the amount down to ½ or even ¼ the amount called for and use your favorite, lower-fat plant milk for the other part.
Curry Powder- You need this spice or it’s kind of hard to call the dish a curry! Make sure your curry powder is not old or you might find it lacks the intensity you desire. If you want a bolder dish add more curry, a little at a time, not too much too fast. You can always put in a little more, but you can’t remove it once it’s in there! For milder curry use less.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Coconut Lentil Curry
Look how easy this recipe is. You’ll be sitting down to eat before you know it!
Step 1 - Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Step 2 - Add in the garlic, ginger, and serrano, cook another minute then add in the minced cilantro stems and curry powder. Cook a minute longer, then stir in the lentils and vegetable broth.
Step 3 - Cover the pan and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add in the coconut milk and minced cilantro leaves. Cook another 5 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt to taste.
Step 4 - Serve with rice, pickled onion, and extra cilantro
Whip up this mouthwatering vegan coconut curry for dinner and impress and please your hungry family or friends, not to mention yourself!
- Simple, quick and easy
- Loaded with nutrients
- Pairs well with lots of other vegan options
- Did I say delicious?
Holly's Insider Pro Tips
How to prep your fresh ginger
Your ginger should be firm, not rubbery. Scrape the thin outer skin off with a knife and wipe any skin residue away with a paper towel before mincing (aka dicing into very tiny pieces) with a sharp knife. You don’t want large pieces in your dish. The ginger is meant to meld with everything else.
Reduce fat content
You can reduce the fat content of this recipe by sauteing the onions in a couple of tablespoons of the vegetable broth instead of coconut oil. If the fat content of coconut milk is a problem for you, try substituting whipped silken tofu and a little coconut extract.
Speed up the process
You can make this vegan coconut curry come together super fast by chopping and dicing your ingredients like, onion, garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, and cilantro the day before and storing them in small airtight containers in the fridge. With all that chopping done ahead of time you’ll have dinner on the table in a snap!
Coconut Lentil Curry FAQs
Oh man! Where to begin? Riced cauliflower, regular steamed cauliflower, steamed broccoli, carrots, potatoes any way you like, steamed kale or other leafy greens, quinoa, millet. So many veggies and grains can go with this dish, the sky's the limit!
Some people just can't do cilantro. I get it. It’s a real thing. In that case use parsley. I’d recommend the flat leaf variety. The dish will have a slightly different flavor profile, but not a big deal. You’ll still love it.
In an airtight container this coconut lentil curry will store in the refrigerator for 5-6 days. In an airtight container in the freezer you can keep it for 2-3 months. It’s also a great recipe to make ahead and freeze for later on.
Looking for more Delicious Vegan Recipes?
Now that you know how to easy it is to make this vegan coconut curry recipe, please give it a star rating below and comment letting me know how it turned out for you.
Coconut Lentil Curry
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 " piece of fresh ginger minced
- 1 serrano pepper minced
- 1 small bunch cilantro stems and leaves separated - both minced
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1 pound dry red lentils
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- salt to taste
To Serve (optional)
- Cooked Rice
- Pickled Red Onion
- Chopped Cilantro
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes
- Add in the garlic, ginger, and serrano. Cook another minute then add the minced cilantro stems and curry powder. Cook a minute longer.
- Stir in the lentils and vegetable broth.
- Cover the pan and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the coconut milk and minced cilantro leaves. Cook another 5 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve with rice, pickled onion, and extra cilantro.