Red Lentil Curry

This lentil curry looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but is surprisingly simple to make. Is a flavorful accompaniment, or makes a hearty main dish on its own. This dish is great served with basmati rice.


2 Cups red lentils
1 large onion, diced
1 – 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Curry Paste (Optional)
1 Tbsp Curry Powder (Mild, Hot, or Madras)
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Chile Powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 clove Garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 15 oz can tomato puree


Dump the lentils into a fine colander or sieve, and rinse in cold water, about 1 min (until rinsing water runs clear). Transfer the lentils into a heavy stock pot with enough water to cover (4 – 6 Cups should suffice) and bring to a boil over high heat on the stove. Boil one minute, then cover pot and reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, about 30-40 min. If lentils absorb all the cooking water, add a little more liquid as necessary.

Meanwhile, saute the onions in olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat, about 10 min, until onions are fragrant and translucent.

While the onions cook, combine the (optional) curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chile powder, salt, sugar, fresh garlic and ginger in a medium mixing bowl. Stir so that spice ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Once the onions are completely cooked, add the curry spice mixture to the skillet of onions. Cook mixture over medium-high heat, stirring continuously, 1 or 2 min.
Add the can of tomato puree to the skillet. Stir to combine and reduce heat to a simmer until the lentils are ready.

Once lentils are tender, drain any excess liquid (they should have absorbed most of the water already). Mix the onion-curry spice base into the lentils and serve immediately.