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Curried Red Lentils

Lentils are such a humble food. They deliver a great little bundle of plant based protein and fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, both of which contribute to feelings of satiety and satisfaction.
Red lentils cook up super fast, especially when soaked beforehand, although that isn't necessary for this recipe. They take on curry flavors particularly well, and this recipe has just the right balance of spices without being overly complex to throw together. Plus I love the little bit of sweetness from the apple in contrast to the warming spices.
In my opinion this dish is even better as leftovers and excellent to tote along for lunch on-the-go!
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 tsp avocado oil, butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 med yellow onion chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 1/2 med apple chopped
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 c red lentils
  • 24 oz broth homemade if you have it
  • 1/4-1/2 c canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 c cilantro minced, to garnish


  • Melt oil or fat over medium heat.
  • Add onion and cook 4-5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger, and apple. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Stir in spices and tomato paste until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.
  • Add lentils and stir to coat with spice mixture.
  • Add broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for roughly 20 mintues then check doneness of lentils.
  • Add 1/4 cup coconut milk and assess creaminess. Add remaining coconut milk to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Adjust salt if needed. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!


Make this dish a meal by topping with an egg, wilting in leafy greens, topping with roasted veggies or even a scoop of sauerkraut. 
Holds up well in the fridge for 3-4 days and is a super handy for lunches on-the-go!
Keyword 30 min meal, Curry, Lentils, Spices