Winter is here, and it’s snowing at our house. 🙂 Colder temps call for warmer food, and these curried red lentils hit the spot!
This dish was inspired by a sweet friend of mine (she’s like a mom away from home). She would occasionally invite the young professionals and college students over to her house on Saturday night for supper after activities at church. Believe me, nothing hit the spot like a hot, home-cooked meal that hadn’t been made in your dorm room or apartment.
I loved these lentils so much when she made them, that she graciously gave me the recipe. Since then, I’ve been tweaking and testing to try and make them even more flavorful and creamy (if that is even possible). Finally after 3 years, what you’re about to read below is the result. 😉
Red lentils can be a little tricky to find sometimes, but most international stores or health food stores carry them. I’ve seen them occasionally in main grocery stores as well, although they aren’t as common. Since red lentils cook down much faster than regular lentils, they give this soup a wonderful smooth texture. I like to whiz it at the end with my immersion blender to give it more of a dahl texture, but you could also leave it as is for more texture (like I did here).
The graham masala adds a lovely flavor and richness to this dish. It can be found in the spice isle of most grocery stores. However, if you can’t seem to find it, there are some easy DIY recipes for garam masala online using spices that you probably already have in your cupboard. But please, whatever you do, don’t try to sub another curry or Indian sounding spice in it’s place… It will completely change the flavor.
Creamy coconut milk is the “cherry on top” for this recipe. The richer and thicker, the better. 😉
The serving options for these curried red lentils are endless. Eat them with a spoon as is, or pair with some tender chapati or naan. Our favorite way to serve them is over white rice (jasmine or basmati work well) to make more of a complete meal. This is a great dish to serve along with a big salad, or hummus and veggie sticks.
These curried red lentils have become a staple in our home – and I hope they become one in yours as well! This is one recipe you’re going to want to keep. 😉
- 3 Tbsp vegan butter (I like to use Earth Balance)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups red lentils
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4.5 cups water
- 1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk (reserve for end)
- Melt vegan butter in a medium-size sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent and fragrant, being careful not to brown garlic.
- Add spices, and stir until well combined.
- Add all remaining ingredients (except coconut milk) to sauce pan and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, and stir in coconut milk. If desired, whiz with an immersion blender or in a regular blender for a smoother texture.
- Serve hot with bread, or over rice.
This incredible vegan naan from Minimalist Baker is the perfect side! I was amazed at how easy it was to make – and had the perfect texture.