An irresistible lentil curry recipe that is really simple and less time-consuming. This perfectly healthy vegan lentil curry is gluten-free and offers healthy nutrients. It is so rich and creamy even without coconut milk. Just four simple steps and it's ready to serve!
Lentil Curry without Coconut Milk
This recipe is slightly different from other recipes as it is the lentil curry without coconut milk. Lentils have a natural tendency of having a creamy texture once they get mushy. Coconut milk is an add on if you want to make your recipe creamier but still many people don't like its flavor in curries so this recipe is for those.
I am using plenty of water for cooking these Brown lentils to make them mushy and creamy. you can use vegetable stock too but I wanted to make it with the simplest ingredients possible.
Today, the lentils in the market are usually stone free. Nevertheless, I prefer to look through them in the sieve before processing them, because lentils are planted together with grain to provide the lentils with support.
Sometimes there are cereal grains in the package, which can be a problem, especially for people with gluten intolerance.
Things you need for Traditional Lentil Curry
Here’s what I add to my creamy lentil curry:
- Brown Lentils: The heart of the recipe is brown lentils they will provide the all necessary fiber. you can use green, orange, or yellow lentils too, or even split peas can be made with this recipe too.
- Ginger Paste: This will make another level aroma in your curry. you can substitute it with ginger powder.
- Seasoning: Salt, Paprika Powder, Turmeric Powder and Garam Masala. These are the standard Indian spice that will deliver an essence of true Indian flavor.
- Water: It is vegan lentil curry without coconut milk so 5-7 cups of water is a must.
- Oil for Tadka: Sunflower oil is good to go.
- Freshly Chopped Garlic: Fresh Garlic is a must, I will tell you how to add them to the main part of the recipe. So wait!
- Fresh Red Chili: To add some traditional spicy touch, It is totally optional and you can leave it if you are not a spicy food lover.
- Cumin Seeds: to add flavoring in tadka.
- Garnishing: So this all up to you, I always add Coconut cream Cilantro leaves and Lemon! Leave coconut cream if you do not like its flavor.
Is it Important to Soak Lentils?
Red and yellow lentils do not need to be soaked as they are already peeled and would otherwise disintegrate very badly. Brown lentils, on the other hand, are large and should, therefore, be soaked. This recipe is made from brown lentils, this is why before the cooking time I always soak them!
The Complete Lentil Curry Recipe
It’s Brown Lentil cooking time, let’s start!
- Wash and Soak: Wash and soak lentil for 2 to 3 hours. This will speed up the cooking process and give a creamier texture to your lentils.
- The main part: In a large pot add Lentils, Water, Ginger Paste, Salt, Paprika, Turmeric Powder, and Garam Masala. Bring it to boil and cover the pot. Let it cook on medium to low heat for about 25 to 30 minutes. You can use vegetable stock instead of water. It will add more flavor. Make sure you adjust salt accordingly.
- Prepare Tardka: Tarka In another frying pan add oil and chopped garlic. Make sure you use fresh garlic and not the garlic paste. Fresh garlic will add the real kick to this lentil recipe. Fry garlic, freshly sliced chilies, and some cumin seeds. Once the garlic is well golden brown in color add it to lentil pot. This is a traditional Indian way of tempering the Lentils and called tardka.
- Garnishing and serving: Garnish with some coconut cream, cilantro leaves, and chilies. Serve with some naan bread or steamed white rice.
No matter what time it is, you can always have a hot pot of creamy lentil curry. You can easily enjoy this dish in less than an hour for lunch or dinner. You can also make this recipe in a Crockpot, simply dump all ingredients and later prepare tardka just before serving. Recently I came across a Complete Crockpot Guide and It could be an informative read for you if you are looking into buying a new slow cooker for your kitchen.
Tadka for Dal:
Tadka for dal is a Traditional cooking technique used in Indian cuisine for many years. It is basically roasting whole spices and ingredients like fresh chilies, ginger, garlic, or even onions in oil. This process will unlock the full aromatic flavors of spices. Once you master this technique you will love to do it on most of your recipes.
This will definitely add some extra calories to your meal but the aromatic flavors you get in return are truly worth it. I am using fresh red chilies, chopped garlic, and cumin seeds for my dal tadka.
How to Serve the Lentil Curry
This Lentil curry is served with different options like
- Steamed White Basmati Rice: Steamed white rice is always a good and handy option for me to serve with lentil curry. They are always in my pantry essentials and I keep them restocked every time. Soon I will upload how I make steamed white rice.
- Cauliflower Rice: For those who want to avoid carbs can use cauliflower rice as a side for this high protein lentil curry.
- Garlic Naan: Lentil Curry and Garlic naan is always a match made in heaven. you can never go wrong with it. Either make it by yourself or get from your nearest Indian restaurant. You will love it.
How to Store and Reheat This Lentil Curry
This lentil curry without coconut milk keeps very well in the refrigerator for up to a week as there are no tomatoes or extra added coconut cream or milk. It is one of the many recipes that I love to make in big quantity for my weekly meal prep. Make sure you store it separately from your sides.
Reheat on the stovetop, and add some water as lentils tend to get thick. or in you can also microwave them.
More Lentil Recipes:
If you looking for more vegan recipes made with lentils you can check
- MUJADARA – LENTILS AND RICE WITH CRISPY ONIONS
- YELLOW SPLIT PEA WITH ZUCCHINI
- CREAMY PUMPKIN AND LENTIL PASTA
- VEGAN LENTIL LOAF
Lentil Curry Without Coconut Curry
- 1½ Cup Brown Lentils Wash and Soak
- 1 Tsp Ginger Paste
- 1 Tbs Salt
- 1 Tbs Paprika Powder
- ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 5-6 Cups Water
Tadka for Dal
- 3 Tbs Oil
- 7-8 Cloves Fresh Garlic (Chopped)
- 1 Tbs Cumin Seeds
- 1 Fresh Red Chilies (Sliced)
- Wash and soak lentil for 2 to 3 hours. This will speed up the cooking process and give a more creamy texture to your lentils.
- In a large pot add Lentils, Water, Ginger Paste, Salt, Paprika, Turmeric Powder, and garam Masala. Bring it to boil and cover the pot. Let it cook on medium heat for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- You can use vegetable stock instead of water. It will add more flavor. Make sure you adjust salt accordingly.
- In another frying pan add oil and chopped garlic. Make sure you used fresh garlic and not the garlic paste. Fresh garlic will add the real kick to this lentil recipe.
Tadka for Dal
- For Tadka, Heat oil in a pan, Fry chopped garlic, freshly sliced chilies, and cumin seeds. Once the garlic is well golden brown in color add it to lentil pot. Do not burn Garlic.
- This is a traditional Indian way of tempering the Lentils and called tardka.
- Garnish with some coconut cream, cilantro leaves, and chilies. Serve with some naan bread of boiled rice.
- Soaking time: It's best to soak lentils in water for 2-3 hours. Also, the exact soaking time depends on the temperature, the warmer it is, the shorter the soaking time.
- A portion of water and lentil: Place one portion of the lentils in a glass, porcelain, or ceramic vessel with three times the amount of water to soak the lentils.
- You can use the soaking water or fresh water for cooking!
- Pot size: Choose a large enough pot. Lentils tend to foam up when cooked. Therefore, water and lentils should not fill the pot more than two thirds.
- Temperature: You shouldn't boil lentils over boiling water; instead, they should just simmer. So choose a lower stove setting and keep an eye on the lenses.
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So much better than anticipated. Really good recipe.