Red Curry Lentils

Red Curry with Lentils

I was a lentil skeptic and my husband is always standoffish when it comes to curry. For this recipe, I substituted some red Thai curry paste and then used traditional Indian Tumeric and Garam Masala. The flavors came together nicely. The secret to Indian cooking is to temper your dry spices in the pan letting all the aromatics perk up. This process is called Tadka or Chonk.

I added onions and garlic to a frying pan with some olive oil and tempered the spices with them. Once my onions were glistening, I added the chili paste, tomato paste, and lastly added coconut milk. I tasted along the way and added a bit more red chili paste and Garam Masala until spice until I had it at the proper consistency for us. Your family may prefer more spice and if this is the case by all means you can add more in the process.

Served over white rice this dish is simple to make and was packed with flavor.


  • 1 Cup of Lentils
  • 3 Cups of Water
  • 1/8 of a Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 3 Ounces of Red Curry Paste
  • 2 Ounces of Tomato Paste
  • 5-6 Ounces of Canned Coconut Milk
  • 1 Clove of Garlic (Minced)
  • 1/2 of a Medium Onion (Diced)
  • 2 Teaspoons of Garam Masala
  • 1 Teaspoon of Turmeric
  • 1 Cup of Rice


  • Rinse the lentils using a strainer
  • Boil the water, salt, and lentils cook until tender for approximately 14- 17 minutes then drain any excess water
  • Set the lentils aside
  • In a medium-large frying pan, over moderate low medium heat add the oil, the onions, the garlic, and the dry spices.
  • Let them all hang out until the onions glisten then add both the pastes
  • Stir and slowly add the coconut milk
  • Taste and find your desired spice and heat, if it is too spicy add more coconut milk or if it is not enough heat add more curry paste.
  • Add the lentils by gently folding them in
  • Serve over plain white rice