Recipe: Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Author & Photographer: Shyn Ru Looi


It’s all about the ease. But it needs to be tasty. And warm. And rich. And satiating. When Eric M. Heath-- for once--delivered  the not so upsetting news that classes were  cancelled on Wednesday because Chicago was set to become a frozen, frigid land, all I craved was a bowl of warm, rich curry. That was when I thought of this recipe and decided I had  to make it and share it with you folks out there. This bowl of creamy coconut lentil curry is everything you can ask for in a one pot recipe. It does take a little longer to prepare , but hey, on the bright side, you won’t need to stand at the stove in wooly socks and 5 layers of garments stirring the pot. It's really a chop, dump, and simmer recipe, as I like to call it. I served it with cooked basmati rice and a fresh helping of sliced cucumber. Sometimes, I also like adding a bit of hot sauce which adds little tang and heat. Even if you are a meat lover, trust me on this one.  This dish is really, incredibly, absolutely delicious.




  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 tbsp cumin powder

  • 1 tbsp coriander powder

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 2 tsp cayenne powder

  • 2 tsp sea salt

  • 10 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 5cm piece of ginger, grated

  • 1 cup of dried brown lentil

  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

  • 15 oz can coconut milk

  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat up coconut oil on medium-high heat. Add the cumin and coriander powder and stir them around in the pot until its fragrant and starts to brown a little. Add the chopped garlic and stir till it browns.

  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, and salt to the pot and cook, stirring the pot a few times, for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the lentils, cayenne powder and about 3 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil. Once that is reached, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 35-40 minutes. You want to make sure the lentils are soft.*

  4. Once the water in the curry is quite dried up and the mixture is starting to resemble curry (mixture should be thick), add the coconut milk and cherry tomatoes and bring the pot up to a boil again. Let it boil for 2 minutes before finally, taking it off the heat.

  5. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

* If the curry starts to stick to the bottom, stir the pot once in a while. If the curry looks dry, stir in an extra cup of water. If it's too watery, let it simmer for an extra 10-15 minutes.

This recipe should make about 6 servings. It will last in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. If you’re only cooking for one, you can freeze the curry and it should last in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe from:

Melanie WangComment