These delicious, super easy to make curried lentils with coconut milk and vegetables can be enjoyed as a side or vegan/vegetarian main dish. Serve with either rice, quinoa or couscous.
Lentil stews are easy to make and these curried lentils with coconut milk are no exception. This aromatic, delicious one pot vegan stew is full of veggie goodness and can be served either as a main or side dish.
What lentils should I use
I used beluga lentils but French Puy green lentils or ordinary green lentils would also be suitable. I don’t recommend using red lentils as they cook very quickly and do not keep their shape as well as other lentils.
Beluga lentils (black lentils) are a little larger and rounder than other lentils and are black and shiny, which makes them look more like beans. They are in fact a great substitute for small varieties of beans, with an added bonus. As with any lentils, there is no need to soak them first!
Beluga lentils have a soft pleasant texture and mildly nutty flavour.
If you like this easy lentils recipe you may also enjoy this grilled eggplant sandwich with puy lentils.
How to make curried lentils with coconut milk
Once you’ve assembled and chopped the ingredients putting the recipe together will take you minutes.
Start by frying the onion, garlic and ginger, along with the spices, in a little oil. They add in the lentils and vegetables, season and cook gently, covered, for approximately 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Half way through pour in the coconut milk.
Adjust the amount of coconut milk to suit your preference.
Top with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy!
What spices to use
I like my recipes to be simple and practical so in this black beluga lentils recipe I used only the most popular curry spices. There is cumin, turmeric and coriander, plus a few others, such as cinnamon and nutmeg which I think work really well with both the curry spices and the coconut flavour. Having said that, you can omit the ‘sweet’ spices, i.e. cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and just go with the main curry spices.
If you are a fan of easy vegan curries you may also like vegan tofu curry with peas.
How to serve curried lentils with coconut milk
This curried lentils recipe can be enjoyed as a vegan main dish, served with either rice, naan bread or quinoa. It can also be a side dish, served alongside other dishes if you are cooking for a larger group of people. It makes a great family dish as well as party food idea and if you make a large enough batch it can also be enjoyed the next day. (You may have to add a splash of water or coconut milk when reheating it)
Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk & Vegetables
- 1/2 cup lentils, beluga, green puy lentils or ordinary green
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger root finely chopped
- 1 celery stick finely chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 medium/large tomatoes chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 red pepper seeds removed, roughly chopped
- 2/3 tbsp coarse sea salt plus plenty of pepper
- 1/3 cup coconut milk ± 2 tbs depending on how thick you want the sauce to be
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp each ground coriander and turmeric
- 1/3 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 4 tablespoons cilantro, for serving coriander, finely chopped
- In a saucepan heat up the coconut oil, add the bay leaf, ginger, garlic, stir and add all the spices. Stir and cook for a minute or so over a medium heat.
- Add the lentils, celery, tomatoes, tomato paste and the pepper, season and stir thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes (or until the lentils are tender) stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk half way through cooking. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro.
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