Spicy Red Lentil Curry

Have you tried my Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl yet? You should definitely try it if you haven’t already! This is one of the most popular (and highly rated) recipes we have on our blog.

It is my favorite dish, so I decided to create an Indian version. My first attempt turned out to be too vegetable-heavy and a bit dry. I love dishes that are rich and flavorful.

As I thought more about what I really wanted in a “Buddha Bowl” inspired by Indian cuisine, I realized that I wanted to have a few things: heat and intense flavor, sauciness, lentils, and brown rice.

This recipe requires only 30 Minutes, One Pan, and Ten Ingredients.

Garlic, ginger, and carrots sauteed with coconut oil and red curry paste form the base of this recipe. The sauce is made with tomato paste, vegetable broth, and turmeric. A dash of coconut milk is optional but highly recommended as a last step to balance heat and add creaminess.

Lentils are not only nutritious, but they also add a hearty taste. The lentils are high in folate and iron. This lentil curry has nearly 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein in one serving! You can make this meal even more substantial by adding brown rice.


  • Coconut oil 2 Tbsp
  • Three cloves of garlic, minced (each clove yields 1 1/2 tbsp).
  • 1 tsp of minced ginger
  • Half a cup of diced carrots
  • Red curry paste, 3 Tbsp (vegan friendly).
  • One 6-ounce can of tomato paste (a can that holds 1/2 cup).
  • 2 cups of low-sodium veggie broth ( DIY or purchased at a store)
  • One cup of water
  • Red lentils were rinsed thoroughly in cold water and drained.
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • Add more turmeric to taste.
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk (optional)

FOR SERVING optional

  • I love the method of cooking brown rice
  • Pita or naan (omit if gluten-free// check for vegan friendliness)
  • Pickled red onions
  • Freshly chopped cilantro


  • Rinse lentils thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer. Set aside. When cooking brown rice with lentils, use this Saveur method.
  • Heat a large skillet with a rimmed edge over medium heat. Add coconut oil, ginger, garlic, and carrots once the Pan is hot. Stir frequently and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Stir frequently and add curry paste. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Stir together tomato paste, vegetable stock, and water. Add lentils, coconut syrup, and turmeric, and stir.
  • Stirring frequently will help to incorporate flavors. If the mixture becomes too thick, add more vegetable broth. Going often will help to integrate flavors. If the mixture is too thick, add more vegetable stock.
  • Stir in coconut milk to add creaminess and balance the heat.
  • Add more salt or coconut sugar to balance sweetness and flavor. You can also add more turmeric if you want a deeper flavor.
  • Divide the lentils (optional), brown rice, and cilantro between 2-3 serving bowls (amounts as written in the original recipe // adjust the batch size if changing amount) and serve with pita, naan, or pita bread for dipping.
  • Keep leftovers separate in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add water if necessary to moisten.

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