July 6, 2022

CREAMY COCONUT CURRY LENTILS WITH SPINACH

This week, I created Creamy Coconut Curried Lentils With Spinach. They are a creamy cousin to my Curried Chickpeas and Spinach. I substituted canned chickpeas with quick-cooking lentils. Instead of a tomato-based curry sauce, I used a creamy coconut sauce that pairs perfectly with the rich lentils and spicy curry spices.

These Creamy Coconut Curried Lentils were paired with my Curry Roasted Carrots and some Naan. The lentils are balanced perfectly by the sweetness of the carrots. You don’t have to make a separate side dish. Instead, just cut up some carrots and cook them in the same skillet as the lentils.

MAKE IT SPICY OR MILD

This recipe can be made spicy or mild, and it tastes great in either case. Curry powder comes in various heat levels, so be sure to check the label. You can spice up mild curry powder by adding cayenne pepper to the coconut curry lentils. 

What type of lentils should I use?

Because they can hold their shape even after simmering, brown lentils work best for this recipe. In the U.S., brown lentils are often called “lentils”. Make sure to check the instructions on the package. If the package says to simmer for 20 minutes, then you have the right kind of lentil.

IS THERE A SUBSTITUTE FOR COCONUT MILK?

You can substitute coconut milk with heavy cream or half-and-half, but you won’t need as much. Keep the heavy cream at 1/2 cup and the half-and-half at 3/4 cup.

CREAMY COCONUT CURRY LENTILS w/ SPINACH

These coconut curry lentils are a delicious and easy vegan choice for your weekly dinner or meal prep.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 1.25 cups curry legumes + 1 cup rice

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.24)
  • 2 cloves of garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
  • 1 small yellow onion ($0.21)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder* ($0.30)
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils ($0.67)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth** ($0.26)
  • 1 13oz. 1 13oz.
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach ($1.61)

SERVING (OPTIONAL).

  • 4 cups cooked rice ($0.60)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro ($0.15)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Then, dice the onion. In a large skillet, Dutch oven or soup pot, combine the olive oil, ginger, and garlic. Sauté the ginger and garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute or until they become soft and fragrant.
  • Continue to cook the onion diced in the skillet until it becomes soft and translucent. Stir in the curry powder, and cook for another minute to toast the spices.
  • In a large skillet, add the vegetable broth and dry lentils. To dissolve any brown bits remaining in the skillet, stir. Cover the pan with a lid and heat to medium-high. Once the broth has boiled, reduce the heat to low. After boiling the broth, reduce the heat to low and simmer it for 20 minutes, stirring now and again.
  • After 20 minutes, the lentils should be tender. Stir in the coconut milk. The heat should be turned up to medium. Once the skillet is at a simmer, reduce the heat to low. To thicken the mixture, let it simmer for 10 minutes without a lid. Stir frequently.
  • Turn the heat off once the mixture has thickened. Stir in the fresh spinach. Continue to stir until the spinach is wilted. If necessary, taste the mixture and adjust the curry powder or salt to suit your tastes.
  • Serve with a bowl of rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.

NOTES

Curry powder’s potency can vary from brand to brand. Freshness is a factor, so it may be necessary to adjust the amount. To bring out the flavor of the vegetable broth, add some salt to it if it is not very salty.

NUTRITION

Serving Size: 1.25 Cups Calories 494.13 kcal Carbohydrates 83.93 G Protein: 17.83g Fat: 8.18g Sodium 844.08 mg Fiber 8 g