Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk

by Hilary Gauntt on November 28, 2016

There aren’t many vegetarian entrees that I find satisfying enough to make a complete dinner (my bad) but this one certainly is an exception! It’s fragrant and filling and would make a lovely, healthy meal during the chilly shopping season ahead. It comes together in 30 minutes and is served over rice with a topping of yogurt and cilantro. Dana Saxton served this to our book club for lunch, and I went back for seconds. If you really want to feel righteous, skip the yogurt and it’s a vegan dish!

Credit to Julia Turshen for this recipe from her new cookbook “Small Victories”, which she describes as “hundreds of ideas for home cooking triumphs.” The introduction was written by Ina Garten; which is the gold standard in my book. I truly believe in Julia’s idea that “Sometimes small victories can be measured not in the work that you do, but in the work that you don’t.” Sounds a like great gift idea for the cook on your Christmas list!

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. minced peeled fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot or small onion, minced

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. cumin seeds or ground cumin

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1 cup (180 g) split red lentils (or combination red and green, but cook longer and maybe add water)

1 13.5 ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk

kosher salt

Cooked basmati rice, plain yogurt, chopped fresh cilantro, and naan for serving

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ginger, garlic, shallot (or onion), coriander, cumin, and turmeric and cook, stirring now and then. until the vegetables are softened and the spices are very fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Add the lentils, coconut milk, and 2 tsps. kosher salt, then fill the empty coconut-milk can with water and add it to the saucepan. It will look like a lot of liquid, but the lentils will absorb it as they cook. Stir everything together, turn the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let the lentils simmer, stirring now and then, until they’re completely soft, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Serve the lentils hot over rice. Top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. A side of naan (Indian bread) is nice too.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

AMY KAHAN March 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Here is that yummy recipe I was telling you about


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