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Curried Red Lentils With Coconut Milk

Curried Red Lentils With Coconut Milk 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Oct 17, 2016

This one-pot, pantry-friendly meal, reminiscent of Indian dal, is warming and rich thanks to the combination of curry spices and coconut milk. Feel free to substitute your favorite already-mixed curry powder for the combination of cumin, turmeric and coriander. (The basic dish is vegan; you can keep it that way by skipping the yogurt or using coconut or other vegan yogurt.)

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes 4 cups

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot lobe, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup dried split red lentils
  • One 13 1/2-ounce can full-fat coconut milk, shaken (may substitute low-fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 3/4 cups water (see directions)
  • Cooked brown or white basmati rice, for serving
  • Plain dairy or vegan yogurt, for garnish (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the ginger, garlic, shallot, cumin, turmeric and coriander; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the spices are quite fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the lentils, coconut milk and salt, then fill the empty coconut-milk can with water and add that to the saucepan. (It will look like a lot of liquid, but the lentils will absorb much of it as they cook and turn from orange-red to golden in color.) Stir everything together and increase the heat to high; once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low or until the liquid is gently bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are completely soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste, and add salt as needed.

Serve the lentils hot, over rice. Top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt, if using, and a sprinkle of cilantro.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs," by Julia Turshen (Chronicle, 2016).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 310

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 19g 29%

Saturated Fat: 9g 45%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 135mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 25g 8%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 10g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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