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Red Lentil Coconut Curry

by Sophie

Vegan food doesn’t have to be expensive, and with this awesome Red Lentil Coconut Curry, your assumption for vegan food will change. It’s easy, frugal and oh-so-delicious.

This Red lentil coconut curry is adapted from Melissa Copland’s amazing 30-minutes Frugal Vegan Book. I really can’t take credit for this dish as it comes from her cookbook. This is just one of the many delcious recipes found in Melissa Copeland’s new cookbook 30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes

Melissa runs the beautiful vegan blog known as “Stingy Vegan.” It has a number of easy-to-cook, vegan recipes from everyday pantry ingredients. One thing that most non-vegans assume that vegan food is pricey and require a number of exotic ingredients. Well, the truth is it doesn’t. Take this Instant pot Lentil coconut curry into consideration. If you have curry paste handy, then you will not even need to do the sauté part. But don’t worry if you do not have some Indian curry paste prepared. With this step-by-step guide, you can do this amazing recipe in your instant pot.

If you have never cooked lentils before and want to learn more about it, here is a detailed post (W/ video) for you. Click below.

How to cook lentils in instant pot?

How to cook Red Lentil Coconut Curry in Instant Pot?

Melissa’s lentil curry resembles Indian style lentils a lot, especially with the lentil curry from the Indian state I belong to. We cook lentils curries more than basic Indian lentils or daal. Our lentil curry has fresh coconut, veggies, and an aromatic Indian-style tadka to finish the dish.

I have modified Melissa’s Red Lentil Coconut Curry a bit to suit mine and my family’s tastebuds.

Ingredients for Red Lentil Coconut Curry

For this curried red lentil recipe, you will need 1 cup of red lentils or red and yellow lentils + split red lentils (washed and rinsed), 2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 cup of spinach, 1 small eggplant diced, ½ medium diced onion, 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 2 cups of chopped tomatoes or 1 can of crushed tomatoes and 15 cherry tomatoes, 1 oz coconut milk, 2 tsp (4 g) curry powder and 1 tsp cumin seeds to splutter in 2 tbsp of avocado or vegetable oil. Spices that we need for this recipe are 2 tsp curry powder and I added 1 tsp of turmeric powder too. (However, adding turmeric is optional)

Just like the beans, lentils are rich in plant protein and are very economical. If you don’t want some fancy vegan protein with your meal, then add some naturally powered lentils and beans to your diet. Lentils and beans are rich in fibers too, which makes them very beneficial for your body. Unlike beans, most lentils do not need pre-soaking. That means, you can always use them for a great for a last-minute meal. Here I have some lentil+beans falafels and here are my version of lentil veggies burgers.

And, if you are looking for some real, homemade, authentic curry powder, here is my version.

Adding coconut milk to the recipe not only adds a creamy texture, but it also mellows down the heat from the curry flavor. Because this recipe has veggies, carb and protein – all in itself—it can be a great soup option too. Just thin the curry by adding more broth or water, and adjust the salt, pepper, and seasoning and serve with some naan chips.

Here is my version of naan chips.

Serve this curry alone, as a soup, over rice or cauliflower rice or with naan bread on the side. Seriously, the choice is all yours and how you would want to enjoy this bowl of amazing red lentil coconut curry.

Instant pot lentil curry with coconut and red lentils
Pinit

Instant Pot Red Lentil Coconut Curry:

Bring your instant pot to a saute mode. Add half of the oil and add veggies. Saute for a while, and set aside. In the same pan, blister cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes and set aside with the eggplant. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Deglaze the inner pot, and heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Now add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter. Do not let them turn black or burn. (It’s also called Tadka in India.)
  • If you want, keep half of the tadka aside for adding as a garnish. On the rest half, add onion, garlic and saute. After about 30 seconds to 1-minute, the mixture will look translucent and tender.
  • Now add curry powder, and allow it to blend with the veggies.
  • Next, add lentils, tomatoes or crushed tomatoes, spinach, stock, salt and pepper, and set the instant pot into a pressure cook mode and for 8 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, allow natural pressure release, and open the lid.
  • Stir the lentil curry well, and add in sautéed eggplants and tomatoes.
  • Mix in coconut milk, bring the curry to a boil, and turn off the heat. Now garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, and remaining cumin tadka before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Stovetop Red Lentil Coconut Curry:

  • If using stovetop method, heat a large saucepan or pot and add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil over medium heat.
  • Splutter the cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds till the seeds darken and are fragrant. Do not let them turn black or burn. Now add the chopped garlic, onion and sauté until tender.
  • Finally, add the curry powder and allow it to blend well with the mixture and release the aroma.
  • Add the lentils, spinach, stock and crushed tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and allow the lentils to cook in a gently simmering broth veggie mix for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remember that the lentils should be tender but not falling apart by the end of the cooking time.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the diced eggplant and chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and fry until the eggplants are soft and golden brown and the tomatoes blister.
  • It will take about 10 minutes.
  • Add the sautéed veggies to the lentils, mix in coconut milk and adjust the salt and pepper. Heat for a minute and garnish with cilantro and lime juice.
  • Enjoy!
red lentil coconut curry image

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

This amazing and hearty Red Lentil Coconut Curry is delicious, easy and super yum. Plus, I have an instant pot version for you to make this recipe under 30 minutes.
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: 30-minute vegan dinner, coconut lentil curry, easy lentil, Instant pot lentil, red lentil curry, red lentil recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 286kcal
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil (divided)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup dried, washed and rinsed red lentil
  • 7 oz frozen spinach (200g or approximately a cup)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes or 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 small eggplant diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can coconut milk

Garnish

  • cilantro and lime juice

Instructions

Red Lentil Coconut Curry in Instant Pot

  • Bring your instant pot to a saute mode. Add half of the oil and add veggies. Saute for a while, and set aside. In the same pan, blister cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes and set aside with the eggplant. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Deglaze the inner pot, and heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Now add cumin seeds and allow it
    to splutter. Do not let them turn black or burn. (It’s also called Tadka in India.) If you want, keep half of the tadka aside for adding as a garnish. On the rest half of tadka or fried cumin, add onion, garlic and saute.
  • After about 30 seconds to 1-minute, the mixture will look translucent and tender. Now
    add curry powder, and allow it to blend with the veggies. Next, add lentils, tomatoes or crushed tomatoes, spinach, stock, salt and pepper, and set the instant pot into a pressure cook mode and for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, (allow natural pressure release) open the lid. Stir the lentil curry well, and add in sautéed eggplants and tomatoes. Mix in coconut milk, bring the curry to a boil, and turn off the heat. Now garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, and remaining cumin tadka before serving. Enjoy!

Red Lentil Coconut Curry in Stovetop

  • If using stovetop method, heat a large saucepan or pot and add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil over medium heat. Splutter the cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds till the seeds darken and are fragrant.
  • Do not let them turn black or burn. Now add the chopped garlic, onion and sauté until tender. Finally, add the curry powder and allow it to blend well with the mixture and release the aroma.
  • Add the lentils, spinach, stock and crushed tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and allow the lentils to cook in a gently simmering broth veggie mix for 15 to 20 minutes. Remember that the lentils should be tender but not falling apart by the end of the cooking time.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Add the diced eggplant and chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and fry until the eggplants are soft and golden brown and the tomatoes blister. It will take about 10 minutes. Add the sautéed veggies to the lentils, mix in coconut milk and adjust the salt and pepper. Heat for a minute and garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 200g | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1393mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 6g

Want to pin this recipe? Click Pinit !

Recipe and video shared with permission from 30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes by Melissa Copeland, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.

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15 comments

plant.well July 20, 2019 - 7:34 am

5 stars
This looks so wonderful! I love lentil curry dishes and can’t wait to try this one! 🙂

Reply
Sophie July 20, 2019 - 7:44 am

Thanks a lot. Lentil curries are staple in Indian cuisine. Hope you will like this.

Reply
MARISA July 20, 2019 - 7:47 am

5 stars
Gosh. I love this recipe. So much flavor and so easy too!

Reply
Demeter July 20, 2019 - 8:19 am

5 stars
Adding this to our menu again next week. Love that it’s so budget friendly without losing any of the flavor.

Reply
Julia July 20, 2019 - 8:37 am

5 stars
That books sounds fab! Love the look of this curry!

Reply
Biana | TastyGalaxy.com July 20, 2019 - 8:46 am

This looks so healthy and delicious! I love red lentils, and am looking forward to make this delicious curry.

Reply
Mayuri Patel July 21, 2019 - 2:31 am

Adding spinach and eggplant to the lentils makes it such a wholesome meal. I like that idea. I’ve not tried coconut with red lentils. it sure sounds like a good tasty dal.

Reply
Jagruti Dhanecha July 28, 2019 - 11:21 am

I totally agree with you, this recipe is inexpensive, delicious and filling.

Reply
Malini July 29, 2019 - 1:38 am

5 stars
Wow. It looks so rich and delicious, I love the coconut milk touch at the end. It must have been a heavenly lunch 🙂

Reply
Jayashree T.Rao July 30, 2019 - 2:06 am

This red lentil coconut curry looks tasty and something different for me. I have never added coconut milk to the dal, must try it sometime.

Reply
seema sriram August 2, 2019 - 5:11 am

5 stars
Such a delicate balance of flavours in this curry recipe and absolutely creamy. I love the images you have created as well.

Reply
Sophie August 2, 2019 - 3:28 pm

Thanks a lot, Seema.

Reply
20 Instant Pot Meal Ideas - Thoughts Above August 9, 2019 - 7:18 pm

[…] Recipe Source: My Dainty Soul Curry […]

Reply
Kelly August 17, 2019 - 7:20 am

5 stars
I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. When the eggplant went back in, I added about 1 1/2 cups chickpeas to get some more protein . I had it over brown rice and garnished with cilantro and also thai basil. I forgot the lime. It was soooo good! It was pretty easy to make, except I have some lack of control when sauteeing in my model of Instant Pot. I might do stovetop next time.
Thanks for the recipe 😀

Reply
Sophie August 17, 2019 - 8:03 am

So happy to hear that Kelly. Thank you.

Reply

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