Coconut Red Lentil Curry

        It is March.  Yesterday was cold and rainy, today is warm and sunny, and tomorrow snow lurks about the forecast.  This is the time of year for comfort food, and I was going to talk about that, about the pleasure of preparing a big pot of thick and steaming stew to be consumed indoors on a murky day, or outside on the deck, with a fleece blanket tucked around, when the first spring breezes mingle with chilly winds still blowing from the northwest.  This curry, this lovely, rich concoction, is the epitome of comfort food.  But as I prepared it, and as Paulo and I ate it on that cold, rainy day, I realized quite clearly that I could eat this curry at any time of year, in any temperature, with any type of weather either howling or mild outside.  It is that good.

          I adapted this velvety curry from a recipe provided by Heidi Swanson, and have made it many times, it being my go-to dish for all sorts of occasions, or for none at all.  It is easy to make, and really quite quick, and has the added benefit of using ingredients that I almost always have on hand- mostly non-perishable pantry items with a few ubiquitous fresh staples.  Sometimes we eat the curry over rice, other times with chunks of dense bread, and always with green onions scattered over the top, their fresh green bite accentuating the smooth creaminess perfectly. 

Coconut Red Lentil Curry

1 cup yellow split peas

1 cup red split lentils

7 cups water

3 medium carrots, 1/2″ dice

1 T fresh ginger, grated

4 T curry powder

2 T butter (or olive oil)

10 green onions, thinly sliced

6 oz can tomato paste

14 oz can coconut milk

2 tsp kosher salt

          Rinse the split peas and lentils, then place in a large pot with the water.  Bring to a boil, add the carrots and half of the ginger, then simmer, covered, until the split peas are soft, about 30 minutes.  (Add additional boiling water by the cupful if needed.)  Meanwhile, toast the curry powder in a dry skillet just until fragrant, taking care not to scorch.  Melt the butter into the curry powder, then stir in half the green onions and the remaining ginger.  Saute for a minute or two, and add the tomato paste, mixing until combined.

          When the split peas are soft, add the tomato paste mixture, the coconut milk, and the salt.  Simmer for at least 15 minutes, and longer if so desired.  (The curry becomes thicker and creamier the longer it is simmered.)  Serve in bowls, topped with the remaining sliced green onions.

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7 Responses to “Coconut Red Lentil Curry”

Comments (7)
  1. I made this for a group of friends, served it over basmati rice, and drank pale ales. Fantastic!!

  2. Quick to make and tasty as always. Just the way I like my vegan recipes :-)

  3. I never cooked with lentils before but this turned out good. Thanks for the different kind of recipe.

  4. Made this for my girlfriend and she LOVED it. Even better then next day!

  5. Love the recipe and the photo! I turned this into a vegan recipe by using oil instead of butter and it was great. Keep posting more like this please

  6. I love this stuff…Thanks again!

  7. Thanks for the great vegetarian recipe! I’ve been trying to cut out meat, and recipes like this make it easy.

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