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Creamy Lentil Curry over rice in a bowl

Creamy Lentil Curry

  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 Minutes
  • Total Time: 32 Minutes (+5 Minutes)
  • Yield: 8-10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Stovetop, Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian

Description

Brimming with comforting flavors, this easy Creamy Lentil Curry is packed full of delicious Indian spices; the whole family will love this hearty dish! Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.


Scale

Ingredients

Sauté Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, chunked
  • ½ red bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded *
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger

Base Ingredients:

  • 1 – [ 28 oz. can ] crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth *
  • 1 ½ cup water (or broth)
  • 1 ¼ cup dry brown lentils, picked through and rinsed

Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 ¼ teaspoons curry powder (+/-) *
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (+/-) *
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • Pinch to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) *

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 cup light coconut milk (from can) *

Other Optional Ingredients:

  • Steamed rice
  • Baked potato
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Flatbread

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients (except the cayenne pepper) in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  2. Place all the Sauté Ingredients into a food processor and blend until finely minced.
  3. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté (high) mode, then add minced Sauté Ingredients into the Instant Pot, sauté for 7 to 8 minutes until the water from the minced ingredients lose most of their water, then add the Spice/Herb Mix and stir to allow the spices to release their fragrance, about 1 minute.
  4. Then add all the Base Ingredients, stir well to combine. Press Cancel, then set the Instant Pot to Manual Pressure High for 14 minutes.  When finished, press Cancel and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then do a Quick Release.  Unplug the Instant Pot.
  5. Once all the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid, add in the lite coconut milk. Stir well to combine. Taste test the flavors and add any additional seasonings at this time, including the cayenne pepper (if desired), stir to combine, allow a few minutes for the flavors to marry.   Serve with your favorite rice, chopped cilantro, and flatbread.

Stove Top Instructions

  1. Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients (except the cayenne pepper) in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  2. Place all the Sauté Ingredients into a food processor and blend until finely minced.
  3. In a ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven or similarly large stock pot, add the finely minced Sauté Ingredients, sauté for 7 to 8 minutes until the water from the minced ingredients lose most of their water, then add the Spice/Herb Mixand stir to allow the spices to release their fragrance, about 1 minute.
  4. Then add all the Base Ingredients, stir well to combine, heat to boiling, then immediately lower to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and continue cooking until the lentils are tender, approximately an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Once the lentils are tender, add in the lite coconut milk. Stir well to combine. Taste test the flavors and add any additional seasonings, including the cayenne pepper (if desired), and cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to marry.  Serve with your favorite rice, chopped cilantro, and flatbread.

Notes

*Tips for Success:  We like to prep all the ingredients as after you add the Spice/Herb Mix to the Instant Pot, you need to stir well to keep the spices from burning or sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot.  By prepping ahead, once the spices have released their fragrance, you can immediately get the liquids into the pot before the spices stick too much to the bottom as they can burn easily with an Instant Pot if you are not careful. Make sure you stir the pot really well making sure you are getting any spices that could potentially stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot up and into the liquids.

*Vegetable Stock:   We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.

*Curry Powder:  We really enjoy Penzeys Sweet Curry Powder, please feel free to use your favorite curry powder.  We had family members enjoying various amounts of curry powder, feel free to ramp up the curry powder at the end if you feel it needs more.

*Garam Masala:  Garam Marsala spice blends vary greatly with some accenting different spices over others.  We really enjoy Penzeys Garam Masala-Punjabi Style.  Feel free to use your favorite spice blend of Garam Masala. We had family members enjoying various amounts of garam masala, feel free to ramp up the curry powder at the end if you feel it needs more. 

*Cayenne Pepper:  If you just want a hint of heat, use a pinch.  If you want a lot of heat use ¼ teaspoon or more. Or you can leave it out completely. Add it at the end and add a tiny bit at a time until the desire heat is achieved.

*Light Unsweetened Coconut Milk:  You can also use unsweetened plain plant milk (with or without a splash of coconut extract), but you will need to adjust the spices (in other words, not use as much) as the lite coconut milk is thicker and has more flavor than plain unsweetened plant milk. We tried the recipe both ways and definitely preferred using lite unsweetened coconut milk from the can over the plain plant milk. Lite Unsweetened Coconut Milk is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, full fat coconut milk is not.  Additionally, feel free to add more than 1 cup of lite unsweetened coconut milk if you like. You may need to ramp up some spices if you add more than 1 cup.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Serving:  8 to 10

*Storage:  Refrigerate and use within 5 days, freezes well.