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Red Lentil Curry

Red Lentil Curry

Oh boy, do I feel so dumb this morning. Days like this, I wish I knew more about cars. I have no interest in cars or how they are made, the mechanism of it. I just know how to drive it and that’s it. When my car didn’t start, though, when I was supposed to go pick my five year old from preschool, I totally panicked. It had never happened before so I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t the battery. The lights were working correctly. My friend picked my boy up for me and she also asked my neighbor who happened to be outside doing some housework. He came over and fixed the problem in a finger snap. So it wasn’t anything complicated, it was pretty simple. My shift wasn’t in park correctly. That was it. I felt pretty dumb – but I had no idea! Now I know… Anyway, I just wanted to share my dumb moment with you all – and of course, these things are bound to happen while your husband is thousands of miles away in Madison, WI. But I sure am grateful for friends and neighbors who are willing to help. Seriously, it feels like a huge burden has been lifted from me (although it ended up the burden turned out to be pretty small, but at the time, I felt panic and helpless.)

Red Lentil Curry 2Well, today, I am posting a very yummy and delicious recipe. I only discovered the goodness of lentils only a couple of years ago, when I was getting into blogging. One of many great things about blogging about food is that you get to learn about new and different food ingredients. I honestly had no idea what lentils were until I saw some recipes on other people’s blogs. Then my eyes opened and started seeing lentil recipes everywhere, and even found some lentil curries at my favorite Indian restaurants.

Red Lentil Curry 1I am not sure if it counts as Indian or Thai, but it is a good mix of the two. I used coconut milk and red curry paste with some of my favorite Indian spices. It was really good, especially with some Jasmine rice (although you could use Basmati rice instead).

Red Lentil Curry 3Lentils are really good for you. It’s got lots of nutrients that our body needs – this recipe is a little bit spicy. If you can’t handle heat very well, you may omit cayenne pepper and Jalapeno peppers. But if you love things a little spicy like myself, add them! Definitely add them!

Red Lentil Curry 4And a little sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves always brighten up a dish like this. Another great thing about this curry is that you don’t need to worry about soaking the lentils before cooking it. They don’t need to be soaked. Only rinsed and picked.

Red Lentil Curry
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4

  • 1½ cups lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • ½ tablespoon garam masala
  • ½ tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Indian curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato puree (I used fire roasted diced tomatoes, pureed)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • cilantro leaves to garnish
  • Jasmine or Basmati rice, cooked

  1. In small bowl, combine garam masala, ground coriander, curry powder, and sugar. In large pan or saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the red curry paste and stir well. Add the seasoning mix to the pan and stir frequently, until the seasonings almost blackens. (Turn on the fan to high as it may get a little smoky)
  2. Add garlic and ginger to the pan, stirring. Add the pureed tomatoes (I used fire roasted diced tomatoes and blended it in my Vitamix – it’s got a great flavor with a little heat) and reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Stirring occasionally, add the lentils, and when the tomato puree starts to bubble a little bit, add the coconut milk. Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper if desired.
  4. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens, about 15-20 more minutes (or longer if needed) on simmer.
  5. Serve over Jasmine or Basmati rice, garnished with cilantro leaves.



9 Responses to “Red Lentil Curry”

  1. #
    Belinda @zomppa — April 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I definitely have moments like that – thank goodness for friends!

  2. #
    Sandra (@SECooking) — April 10, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I am thankful for my hubby who knows thing or two about the cars, but I would go into panic mode if he is not around too..the bad thing would be me trying to fix it myself hahaha
    Anyhow…your lentil curry sounds delish…My family loves lentils, me on the other hands not so much, and I don’t know why…I think the texture, but am happy that my kids eat it :D I am setting a bad example! hehe
    Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful the rest of the week!

  3. #
    ValerieK — April 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Hi, glad it was an ez fix for your car! This dish looks yummy! What brand of curry paste do you recommend / use? Thanks.

    • Sook replied: — April 10th, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

      Hi! I use Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste. :)

      • ValerieK replied: — April 11th, 2013 @ 10:49 am


  4. #
    Heidi P. — April 12, 2013 at 10:53 am

    At what point do I cook and add the lentils?

    • Sook replied: — April 12th, 2013 @ 11:14 am

      Thank you, Heidi! I realized that I didn’t write the most important part of the recipe, lol. I corrected it – and you’re supposed to add the lentils after you add the tomato puree. Thanks!

  5. #
    Martha — September 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Are the lentils supposed to be cooked before they are added? I added mine uncooked but it didn’t seem like I had enough liquid to do so.

  6. #
    Julianne — September 22, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I agree with Martha. I keep re-reading the recipe, while I’ve got this going on the range, to see if I’ve missed something. It is very dry and the lentils aren’t softening much. I added more tomato puree, more coconut milk and finally just added a cup of vegetable broth in hopes it can be salvaged. I’ve never cooked lentils other than for soup, so this is a different dish for me. Should the lentils have been precooked?

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