Thai Lentil Curry Recipe

Delicious Thai Lentil Curry!
Delicious Thai Lentil Curry!. D.Schmidt for
  • 55 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: serves 4
Ratings (5)

Comforting and rich flavored, with the meaty texture of lentils (and lots of protein), plus garden vegetables make this Thai-inspired dish a true dinner treat. This dish can be made with either green or yellow lentils -- French green lentils work beautifully in this recipe. Serve it with mounds of savory coconut rice (see this super-easy Coconut Rice in a Rice Cooker, or Easy Coconut Rice on the stove-top). Meat-eaters are sure to love this just as much as the vegetarians and vegans at your dinner table.

Tip: If your lentils are taking longer to cook (this will depend on how large and thick they are), you may need to add 1 more cup of stock.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup lentils (green or yellow)
  • 3 cups faux chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pieces ginger (thumb-size, sliced into matchsticks)
  • Optional: 1 chili (red, minced)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 to 5 cardamoms (green, ground in a coffee grinder including the shells or 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed (whole)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 large carrot (sliced)
  • 1 small bell pepper (orange or yellow, sliced into strips)
  • 1 zucchini (sliced into chunks)
  • 1 generous handful fresh coriander, basil or mint (your choice)
  • 1 black pepper (freshly-ground to serve)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

How to Make It

  1. Heat a medium-size pot over high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili (if using). Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.
  2. Add the stock, lentils, and bay leaves. Stir and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the dry spices: turmeric, cardamom, coriander, and ground cumin (reserve cumin seed for later). Add the soy sauce and stir well.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover (you want a good simmer) for 30 minutes, or until lentils are just becoming tender.
  1. Add the carrot, orange or yellow pepper and whole cumin.  Cover and continue simmering 10 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini and continue simmering another 6 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1/2 cup coconut milk. Taste-test the curry. If not salty or flavorful enough, add more soy sauce or salt.  If too spicy or salty, add more coconut milk or a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. 
  4. Serve piping hot topped with chopped fresh herbs and finish with ground black pepper.  Accompany with Super-Easy Coconut Rice in a Rice Cooker, Easy Coconut Rice, or Thai jasmine rice
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 424
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Unsaturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1,057 mg
Carbohydrates 59 g
Dietary Fiber 11 g
Protein 20 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)