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Recipe: Vegan Red Lentil Curry

Updated: May 4

This Vegan Red Lentil Curry is a fan favorite. It’s easy and quick, making it a perfect weeknight dinner and is excellent for meal prepping. You can enjoy it in many different ways, served on quinoa / rice, with a poached egg on top, with mixed greens, + animal protein, solo dolo - the possibilities are endless. Plus, it’s creamy and indulgent but made with wholesome vegan ingredients.


The spices really make the dish. This recipe is packed with cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, garlic, curry powder and garam marsala. I always like to tell people to think of your spice rack as a mini pharmacy! Spices have been used medicinally for thousands of years and are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to add nutrient density and taste to any meal.


Red Lentil Benefits

  • Excellent source of plant protein

  • Rich in iron and folate

  • High in fiber to support optimal digestion

  • Good source of B vitamins, magnesium and zinc to support your immune system

  • Can help balance blood sugar

  • Supports heart health

  • Nutrient dense & affordable


Red Lentil Curry (serves 4-6)


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh turmeric, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 serrano peppers, diced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon Indian red chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • Kosher salt or sea salt to taste (I use about 1 tsp kosher salt, and add more at the end)

  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup red lentils, or split red lentils (the split variety will cook a bit quicker)

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes

  • 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened creamy almond butter

  • 1/2 a small lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


Preparation

  • Rinse the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear.

  • Heat a large, deep skillet or large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric (if using), and Serrano pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent garlic from burning.

  • Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, salt, and black pepper to taste, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant, tossing frequently to prevent burning. If using ground turmeric instead of fresh turmeric, add the ground turmeric now, along the the rest of the spices.

  • Pour in the vegetable broth, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add in the lentils and the crushed tomatoes and mix well. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid.

  • Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through and have mostly softened. You can add in more broth if needed.

  • Remove the lid and stir in the coconut milk, almond butter, along with salt and pepper to taste Continue cooking on low heat, uncovered for 5 to 8 minutes, until the curry has thickened and is creamy.

  • Finally, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro, and turn off the heat.

  • Garnish with additional cilantro. Store leftovers in the fridge for 4 days.


Health Benefits

Garlic: Extremely powerful antiviral and antimicrobial! High in Vitamin C, phosphorus, and

Vitamin B6. Rich in sulfur which can support detoxification.


Cumin: This tasty spice helps promote digestion by increasing the activity of digestive enzymes, speeding up the digestion process, and increasing the release of bile from the gut.


Ginger: Ginger has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years. A very potent anti-

inflammatory and antioxidant. Supports digestion, soothes the intestinal tract and can aid

in reducing symptoms of nausea.


Turmeric: The anti-inflammatory OG - turmeric is packed with antioxidants and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.


References

Murray MT, Pizzorno JE, Pizzorno L (2006). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.


Ketabi, Sahara (2018). Eat Feel Fresh. Indianapolis, IN: Penguin Random House.

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