Creamy Coconut, Lentil and Vegetable Curry

This is a fabulous beginners curry that’s speedy to whip up on nights you’re after a low-fuss meal. It has a pleasant and relatively mild flavour, with just a teeny smidge of spicy kick - great for kids and adults alike.

Curries can be quite a treasure trove for the taste buds, and a dish to explore time and time again. There’s always another flavour, another combination, to try, with plenty of room to let the creative juices flow.

While you can get pretty deep and complex with your curry flavours, this recipe will have you just strolling along the edge of your comfort zone.

It contains a couple of fun ingredients to add flavour – like grated fresh ginger and curry powder – but nothing possibly intimidating. A lovely place to start.

Nutritional Low-Down

Curries can offer a lot nutritionally, but like anything it’s definitely a ‘sum of its parts’ kind of thing. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Go for quality ingredients – which don’t have to be overly complicated, just the basics (veggies, spices, your pick of protein…) is key – as well as keeping your sauce to protein/veggie ratio balanced i.e. aiming not to have a lonely pea or two floating in a heavy sauce.

  • Go for variety when choosing vege, keeping in mind that different colours offer different nutrients – a plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibre.

  • As for spices, while used primarily for their culinary powers to flavour food and add colour, they have a lot to offer nutritionally too – and with some pretty nifty research to support some claims. For example, turmeric, the spice that can give a yellow colour to curry, contains curcumin which is substance with strong anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin is considered a powerful antioxidant, helping to fight oxidative damage within which may otherwise damage cells (1).

Creamy Coconut, Lentil and Vegetable Curry

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Rating:

Ingredients:  

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cm thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, grated
  • Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 cups diced mixed veggies (e.g. carrot, courgette, broccoli)
  • 1 400g tin pureed tomatoes
  • 1 400g tin coconut milk
  • 1 400g tin brown lentils
  • 1 small pack of tofu (optional)
  • 1 big handful of baby spinach
  • 1 small lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: a pinch of chill flakes
  • Serve with: rice or quinoa

Method:

  • Add the oil to a large deep fry-pan and turn heat onto low.
  • Once the fry-pan is hot, sauté onions, garlic and ginger for five minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the curry powder and veggies and sauté for another two minutes.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and cubed tofu (if using), and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Open tin of lentils. Drain liquid and rinse. Add to curry, along with the spinach. Mix, and then simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the juice of ½ lemon (reserve the other half to serve as wedges with your curry on the side) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, taste test and adjust with extra salt or lemon juice if needed - the salt and lemon juice will bring it all alive.

Notes:

Sensitive to spice? For a milder curry drop the curry powder down to 1 Tbsp.
Wanting to bump up the protein, but keep it plant-based? Add in cubed tofu squares in step 3.
Wanting to change the protein to something animal-based e.g. chicken? Simply cook the meat in step two, adding it after you’ve cooked the onions, garlic and ginger. Feel free to keep the tinned lentils! This will no longer be a vegan or vegetarian friendly dish.
Garnish ideas: Coriander, chili flakes and a spoonful of dairy or coconut yoghurt.

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

If you enjoyed this dish, please consider giving it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings help others discover my recipes online (and your reviews make my day! 🙂 ). Happy cooking and baking. Danijela x

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner and added chicken and some extra veges.
    This is such a easy recipe that is inexpensive and easy to pack in lots of nutrients into a meal.
    This was so yummy and everyone enjoyed it, my partner added chilli for a extra kick.
    When you sit in traffic and don’t get home super early, this is so easy to whip up!

  2. We’ve just had this delicious and satisfying dish today. Just to be able to use what we had on hand, we exchanged the curry for garam masala and kale instead of broccoli, We added root curcuma along with the ginger . Lovely lunch so THANKS for this inspiration 😀

  3. 5 stars
    So very tasty. I substituted onion with sliced leek greens sautéed in garlic infused oil and used chicken in place of tofu. Will certainly be making it again. Barbara

    • Thank you for your lovely comment and 5 star review Barbara! I love the substitutions you made, I’ll have to give that a go another time.

  4. Made this recipe with chicken in-place of the tofu like you suggested in the notes. Was delicious and the family loved it. This will definitely be a regular in our household, so quick, easy and delicious!

    • Thanks for your lovely comment Abbey, appreciate the feedback! Glad the family loved it xx

    • Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comment. I’ve updated it (thanks!) – it serves 3-4 🙂