Coconut Lentil Curry

Coconut Green Lentil Curry

A little savoury to tantalise your tastebuds today.   This is my take on a traditional Indian Dhal, with Cape Malay and  Thai influences. The Coconut cream gives a subtle hint of sweetness to this dish, while the chilli and spices gives it a kick. Serve this delicious lentil curry with steaming fragrant Jasmine rice, and add Paneer for an added protein boost to a vegetarian diet.

Lentil curry with rice

I really love these little pulses as they are high in fibre, low in calories, and full of good protein.  They are easy to cook and are crazy cheap.  There are many types of lentils , but I have used green lentils in this dish.  It will take you about 45 minutes to cook and the green lentils are great for curries and rich stews, as they retain their shape well when cooked, and look fantastic too.  Unlike the red and yellow ones that tend to lose their shape, but make a delicious mushy meal which is ideal for traditional dhals.  So depending on your likes you can use whichever lentil you prefer, although I highly recommend the green ones. Make sure to soak your lentils for an hour before cooking to soften them and to clean any grit from them.

Vegetarian green lentil curry

Vegetarian lentil curry

I don’t freeze many foods, but this is one recipe that is better the next day and freezes particularly well.  Lets face facts, there is nothing better than finding a great meal in your freezer on a Sunday night when you have no enthusiasm for cooking at the end of a weekend.

I honestly can’t get enough of this dish as it satisfies my curry cravings and is fabulous for a meat free meal.

5 from 1 vote
Coconut Green Lentil Curry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: shades of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils
  • 1 large onion , chopped fine
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tomatoes , chopped ( I like to use 2 from a tin as they are already skinned and ready to chop)
  • 2 cardamon pods
  • 1 or 2 chilies (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of water + extra if lentils absorb this amount
  • 1 tin coconut cream
  • dhania (coriander/cilantro) leaves chopped
  • Jasmine or Basmati rice
  1. Soak the lentils for 1 hour, making sure to remove any grit.
  2. In a large pot saute the chopped onion in the coconut oil.
  3. When soft add the crushed garlic and grated ginger together with the star anise, cardomon pods and cinnamon stick.
  4. Add the rest of the spices and the two chopped tomatoes Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the drained lentils and stir to combine.
  6. Add 2 cups of water and half the coconut milk. Simmer gently until the lentils are soft adding more water if all the water is absorbed.
  7. Ten minutes before serving add the rest of the coconut cream.
  8. Top with chopped dhania (coriander)
  9. Serve on a bed of Jasmine or Basmati Rice






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  • Reply Eric February 16, 2017 at 9:59 PM

    This is outstanding with Roti,Rice and even on Toast .


  • Reply Eric February 16, 2017 at 10:04 PM

    This an amazing dish. Very tasty on Roti,Rice and even Toast.

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon February 17, 2017 at 7:10 AM

      Ha ha – yes you have eaten often. xxx

    • Reply Joanie March 4, 2017 at 8:48 AM

      MMMmmmm Ev, this sounds delicious and definitely one I shall try as well as the vegan ice cream. Yummy.

      • Reply Shades of Cinnamon March 4, 2017 at 1:51 PM

        Joanie I think you will like it – its not too hot but has a lovely little bite to it

  • Reply Sugar et al. February 18, 2017 at 12:34 AM

    Amazing flavors and pictures! Makes me crave this for breakfast right now.

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon February 18, 2017 at 11:56 AM

      Nothing wrong with this on toast for breakfast. Have a fabulous weekend xxx

  • Reply Ruby & Cake February 18, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    The colour of this dish i feel a little healthier looking at it! This is my kind of dinner – gorgeous photos as always x

    • Reply Shades of Cinnamon February 18, 2017 at 11:59 AM

      Thanks so much Ruby, gotta have a few “healthier” moments in life. I’ve just been looking through your blog again, its so gorgeous. xxx

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