Since trying lentils for the first time last summer, I’ve become mildly obsessed with them and usually cook them anywhere from one to three times a month. I love lentils with brown rice, or with sausage, but my favorite way to eat lentils is in a delicious curry. I was originally going to post a recipe for Chana Masala (chickpea curry), but decided I needed to include my beloved lentils and also some greens.
If you enjoy curry, I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try. Hearty lentils and chickpeas are simmered in a flavorful tomato-curry sauce with kale and coconut milk, served over rice. This meal is so filling and satisfying, I bet most wouldn’t guess that it’s vegan. I admit I sometimes miss meat in a vegetarian or vegan meal, but this isn’t one of them. Lentils and chickpeas are both packed with protein, very low in fat and diet superfoods in my book. I’ve been making this meal in some variation or another for months now, and it really has become one of my favorites. This is the first time I made it with coconut milk and I love the way it mellows out the strong flavors a bit. The amount of spices are based off my personal preferences, so you may find you want more or less of something – just have fun playing around with it!
Lentil Chickpea Coconut Curry
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups of water, veggie stock or chicken stock
- 1 cup dry brown or green lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 15 oz. can fire-roasted tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
- 5-6 stalks kale, torn into small pieces or 4-5 cups spinach (I used both)
- 1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1 tsp red curry powder or garam masala
- 1 tsp red curry paste
- 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp coriander (or 2 tsp cumin if coriander is not available)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (feel free to use the whole can if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
- fresh cilantro and scallions to garnish, warmed Naan to serve
- In medium saucepan, cook rice according to box directions. You can do this step in advance, or let the rice cook while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.
- In a 3-4 quart cooking pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add diced onion and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and continue cooking.
- Once veggies have softened and browned a bit (about 15-20 minutes), add water or stock to the pot, along with your lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then return to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce or diced tomato to the pot and stir in kale. (If using spinach, don’t add it until later – see step number 5.) Season with all of the spices (yellow curry powder through red pepper flakes) and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until kale is tender and the curry has thickened.
- Stir in chickpeas, coconut milk, and lime juice (and spinach, if using) and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve curry over rice, with a garnish of fresh cilantro, scallions, and warmed Naan.