This is a rich and hearty lentil curry, great as a main meal rather than as a side dish like the more traditional Indian dhal. Don't let the ingredient list faze you, this really is an easy dish to make. This dish is great served with basmati rice.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear. Put lentils in a pot with enough water to cover; bring to a boil, place a cover on the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, adding water during cooking as needed to keep covered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

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  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions in hot oil until caramelized, about 20 minutes.

  • Mix curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic, and ginger together in a large bowl; stir into the onions. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Stir in the tomato puree, remove from heat and stir into the lentils.

Nutrition Facts

191.7 calories; protein 12.1g 24% DV; carbohydrates 32.5g 11% DV; fat 2.6g 4% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 571.9mg 23% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (972)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/14/2008
Very tasty. This recipe will vary in taste and heat according to your curry paste. Notes about lentils: I have never cooked lentils before so I thought I would share some tips for others like me. First off, they are very small so don't try to use a strainer with larger holes (Yes, I know this is obvious). Rinse them well until the water runs clear. Wet lentils stick to everything! Try to get them in the right pot the first time. I found a spatula was good for transferring them. Red lentils cook fast! I boiled mine for 2 mins then simmered for about 8 mins. At that point they were mostly tender. I transferred them into the sauce, mixed well and let them finish cooking. They didn't get too mushy like many people have mentioned. Read More
(734)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
10/24/2012
This will be much better the next time I make it. I over cooked the lentils. They were very mushy. Next time I will check them after 10 minutes. Our family is new to vegan life style, so it's trial and error going forth. This is a great start. Read More
(41)
1408 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 896
  • 4 star values: 376
  • 3 star values: 99
  • 2 star values: 24
  • 1 star values: 13
Rating: 5 stars
06/13/2008
Very tasty. This recipe will vary in taste and heat according to your curry paste. Notes about lentils: I have never cooked lentils before so I thought I would share some tips for others like me. First off, they are very small so don't try to use a strainer with larger holes (Yes, I know this is obvious). Rinse them well until the water runs clear. Wet lentils stick to everything! Try to get them in the right pot the first time. I found a spatula was good for transferring them. Red lentils cook fast! I boiled mine for 2 mins then simmered for about 8 mins. At that point they were mostly tender. I transferred them into the sauce, mixed well and let them finish cooking. They didn't get too mushy like many people have mentioned. Read More
(734)
Rating: 5 stars
05/11/2008
I have never sent a review for any recipe that I have tried. But, this recipe deserves one! It is excellent. I used fresh tomatoes and then put them into the caramelized onions. I also simmered all the spices together in a little oil, as taught to me by an Indian cook. Then, tossed in the garlic and ginger; continued for about 1 more minute. Afterwards, I put the tomato and onions into the spice mix. Then, added the lentils... AWESOME! Read More
(574)
Rating: 5 stars
09/17/2006
I can't believe I never reviewed this recipe. I've been making it once a week for a long time now - it's excellent. The ONLY thing I changed with the recipe was to replace the tomato puree with one can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Chopped Tomatoes. It gives it a much better texture and the fire roasted tomatoes just add another level of flavor that regular tomatoes don't. I can't believe how many people are making this without curry paste. It's the most important ingredient in a curry. I serve it with jasmine rice and hot naan. Oh, and don't be alarmed if the lentils look rather mushy before you add them to the spices and tomatoes. You haven't done anything wrong, and they'll still taste just as good. :) Read More
(441)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/29/2011
I rate thus at 3 1/2 stars. The base recipe was decent, but quite bland by my Indian husbands standards. I altered the recipe a bit to give it a more authentic flavor. -increased all spices, herbs, garlic, ginger, onions and curry paste by 2x. kept sugar, salt amounts same -added ground coriander 1 tsp -added Garam masala 1 1/2 tsp -added garlic powder 1tsp -added oniion powder 1tsp -tomato puree by 2X (entire can to make it moister, like authentic dhaal curries) then reduced it down a bit for added flavor After the additions and alterations my hubby really loved it All and all I think this is a good recipe for someone who wants to give curry a spin without having to go out and buy the whole Indian grocery store (spices can be expensive!) it also allows for some room to play which is great. I'd definitely make this again - Read More
(172)
Rating: 5 stars
09/01/2005
This was really good! I changed a few things... I didn't have any ginger root or curry paste so I used 1tb of ginger and 1 (extra) TB of curry also I added a bit more salt at the end. Read More
(163)
Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2009
I made this last night and my whole family, including my 18-month old grandson, loved it. Beware.........it is very filling! I over ate to the point of discomfort after loading up a big soup mug, and eating it with a heavy rustic bread and a big salad. I did what was suggested by others........I doubled the garlic and sauteed the spices in a little oil, then added the ginger and garlic and sauteed for another minute before adding it all to the onions. Then I added the tomato puree and simmered it all together for awhile before adding the lentils. My house smelled extremely pungent all afternoon and evening..........and I teach piano full time in my home........haha!! I thought the consistency was just right after adding only about 1/2 cup of the water left in the saucepan from the cooked lentils. I would like to add that Allrecipes has changed my cooking life dramatically. I can find more ethnic dishes to try than ever before, and I make my final selections based on the reviews. This is such a low-risk and wonderful way to try new dishes, and the recipes are all in a FREE "cookbook" loaded with ratings and suggestions! I'm having a ball treating my family to the tasty results. Read More
(132)
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Rating: 4 stars
03/30/2006
Quite good. I've found that the red lentils take about 20-25 minutes to cook thoroughly (no pre-soaking just rinsing) with the lid slightly ajar. Read More
(123)
Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2007
This is a wonderful recipe... My spin on it is to add a tablespoon of butter to the simmer in the last step only use fresh chopped tomatoes and double the garlic.. I added this mixture to the red lentils and also 10 jumbo shrimp. Delicious! Read More
(108)
Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2005
I don't usually bother with reviewing but this was fantastic. I used 1/2 the salt and tomato paste with water. I tossed in good quality frozen green peas to add a little more nutrition. Read More
(85)
Rating: 3 stars
10/24/2012
This will be much better the next time I make it. I over cooked the lentils. They were very mushy. Next time I will check them after 10 minutes. Our family is new to vegan life style, so it's trial and error going forth. This is a great start. Read More
(41)