Coconut Milk and Lentil Curry

If you’re searching for a meal that can satisfy both your taste buds and body, this coconut milk and lentil curry recipe can certainly do the trick. Its enticing aroma, thanks to a blend of fragrant spices like curry powder, turmeric, and cinnamon, promises a satisfying flavor explosion in every bite. It’s also packed with multiple layers of taste sensations that are both bold and complex – something that even the most discerning palates will appreciate.

But what makes this curry recipe even more appealing is its nutritional value. With the richness of protein-packed red lentils and the velvety smoothness of coconut milk, this dish is perfect for colder weather. Its filling nature can sustain you throughout the day, providing you with the energy and nourishment you need to tackle your daily tasks.

Aside from its delectable taste and innate health benefits, this recipe is incredibly easy to prepare. With just a few basic ingredients and 30 minutes on the clock, you can whip up a warm and rewarding curry dish that can impress even the most sophisticated diners. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, this coconut milk and lentil curry is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to try something new and delicious. So why not give it a shot and indulge in a deliciously hearty and wholesome meal today?

Coconut Milk and Lentil Curry Recipe

This delicious coconut milk and lentil curry recipe is perfect for anyone looking for a flavorful and satisfying meal. Packed with protein and rich in flavor, this dish is both healthy and easy to make. Whether you're a vegetarian or simply looking for a healthy meal option, this recipe is a must-try.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian, International
Servings4 servings
Calories (per serving)302.58 kcal



  • Rinse 1 cup of red lentils in a mesh strainer and set aside.
  • In a pot, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add 1 chopped onion and cook until softened.
  • Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tbsp of grated ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add 2 tbsp of curry powder, 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of coriander, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper, and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the rinsed red lentils and 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
  • Stir in 1 can of coconut milk, and let simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Optional: garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.


1. Rinse the lentils: Always rinse your lentils in a mesh strainer before cooking to remove any dirt or debris.
2. Use good quality coconut milk: The quality of the coconut milk greatly affects the taste of the curry. Use a good quality can of coconut milk to make this dish truly delicious.
3. Don't skip the spices: The spices are what give this dish its complex flavors, so don't skimp on them. Make sure you have all the listed spices on hand, and don't be afraid to adjust the amounts to suit your taste.
4. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger: Sautéing the onion, garlic, and ginger before adding the lentils and spices adds depth of flavor to the dish.
5. Simmer the lentils: Ensure you reduce heat to low and cover your pot when simmering the lentils. This will help cook them evenly and prevent them from getting too mushy.
6. Add the coconut milk: Add the can of coconut milk after the lentils have simmered for 20 minutes to prevent the milk from breaking or curdling.
7. Season to taste: Add salt and pepper to taste, but be mindful of the amount of salt used as the canned coconut milk may contain sodium.
8. Garnish with cilantro: The addition of chopped cilantro gives a refreshing flavor and brightens up the taste of the curry. However, if you prefer to skip the cilantro, it won't affect the taste of the dish.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 302.58kcalCarbohydrates: 18.09gProtein: 7.08gFat: 24.78gSaturated Fat: 18.69gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.81gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.77gSodium: 314.54mgPotassium: 510.37mgFiber: 5.68gSugar: 2.16gVitamin A: 99.77IUVitamin B1: 0.12mgVitamin B2: 0.06mgVitamin B3: 1.32mgVitamin B5: 0.48mgVitamin B6: 0.21mgVitamin C: 4.98mgVitamin E: 1.3mgVitamin K: 6.6µgCalcium: 65.21mgCopper: 0.41mgFolate: 106.53µgIron: 6.33mgManganese: 1.26mgMagnesium: 77.88mgPhosphorus: 201.64mgSelenium: 2.35µgZinc: 1.4mgNet Carbohydrates: 12.41g
Read more nutritional information values.

Data source: USDA

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Storage Tips

Typically, this Coconut Milk and Lentil Curry Recipe can last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator if stored properly in an airtight container. If frozen, it can last for up to 3 months.

To store, let the curry cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Label and date it, and store it in the fridge or freezer depending on when you plan to consume it.

To freeze, let the curry cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or a plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal tightly. Label the container or the bag with the date and the contents.

To defrost, remove the curry from the freezer and transfer it to the fridge to thaw overnight. Alternatively, you can defrost it in the microwave or by placing it in a pot of warm water.

To reheat, transfer the curry to a pot and heat it on low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Add water as needed to thin out the curry to your preferred consistency.

Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired, and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

1. Vegetable Lentil Curry- Replace the chicken with your favorite vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, and bell peppers.

2. Peanut Butter Lentil Curry – Add 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter to the curry for a nutty and creamy flavor.

3. Red Lentil Curry – Use red lentils instead of green or brown lentils for a creamier texture.

4. Thai Coconut Lentil Curry – Add Thai flavors such as lemongrass, basil and curry paste.

5. Lentil Dal – Soften the lentils more to make a smoother, creamier curry.

6. Curry Soup – Add more coconut milk or broth to create a soup-style dish.

7. Lentil and Chickpea Curry – Add cooked chickpeas to the recipe to make a heartier dish.

8. Lentil Curry with Spinach – Add fresh spinach leaves to the curry to get a vegetable boost.

9. Cilantro and Lime Lentil Curry – Add fresh cilantro and lime juice during the final stages of cooking to give a fresh, bright taste to the curry.

10. Spicy Lentil Curry – Add more cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.

What To Serve With

1. Steamed white or brown rice
2. Naan bread or roti
3. Fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley for garnish
4. Pickled vegetables or chutney for tanginess
5. Yogurt or raita for creaminess and cooling effect
6. Fried or roasted papadum for texture and crunch
7. Salad or vegetables on the side for balance and nutrition.

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