Coconut Lentil Curry: Wholesome And Warming

This coconut milk curry recipe is perfect for those days when you just want to cozily curl up with a blanket and a book in front of the fireplace, because it gives you the same feeling of comfort and wholesomeness. I’ve made this one over and over, in different variations, and it never disappoints. Often I choose to add my own ingredients such as sweet potato, spinach or roast chicken, and it accommodates both very well. If made with the ingredients listed below, it is both vegan and gluten-free.

Note: remember to soak your lentils overnight, as they contain anti-nutrients, which are compounds that can hinder the absorption of important nutrients such as iron and calcium. Phytic acid (phytates) is one such anti-nutrient. It prevents the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. As most of the anti-nutrients can be found the skin of legumes, soaking legumes can have some of the anti-nutrients dissolving. Soaking is one the easiest ways to kill of anti-nutrients, as all you do is allow the legumes to sit in warm water for over 8 hours. Click here to find out more.

Serves 6 


  • 3 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup soaked lentils
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh coriander

Optional: 1 large sweet potato or 2 cups roasted and shredded chicken


1. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, and toast for about half a minute.

2. Add the chopped onion and fry until golden and caramelized. Add the garlic; allow it to brown and blend with the rest of the contents.

3. Add the ginger, turmeric, salt and one half of the cherry tomatoes. Mix everything well and let it cook for a few minutes, covered. (If you opt to add sweet potatoes or additional ingredients to increase the bulk of the dish, do it here)

4. After having soaked the lentils overnight, drain and rinse them under fresh water. Add them to the pot along with 3 cups of water.

5. First, bring the contents to the boil for about half a minute. Then bring the heat down to a low flame or level and simmer for about 40 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent it from sticking to the pot, and add additional water when necessary.

6. Add the coconut milk and the other half of the cherry tomatoes. Simmer the mixture again, and just before serving, stir in the coriander.

To serve: if adding sweet potatoes, I don’t generally find it necessary to add brown rice or quinoa, but this could be a good addition if you have hungry guests. Roast vegetables do a good side as well.

Want to find out more? Click here to find out why Harvard Medical says you should include more plants into your diet.