This Easy One Pan Lentil Daal Curry is the perfect easy and healthy weeknight meal that can be made vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free! Skip the Indian Restaurant and make this delicious Indian Daal Curry recipe at home in minutes!
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I don’t know about you, but restaurant take-out just doesn’t have the same charm as it used to. I don’t know if it’s the exorbitant cost or the fact that by the time you get it home it’s barely warm and all soggy from being in those styrofoam containers, but I’d much rather replace take-out on a busy weeknight with a good, solid, homemade weeknight meal like this Easy One Pan Lentil Daal Curry!
I’ve got to be honest – this is our family’s FAVOURITE weeknight meal. I’m serious…my kids actually beg me to make this Easy One Pan Lentil Daal Curry with rice and our favourite homemade Naan bread all the time and this has become the one meal where they practically lick their plates when dinner is done. And as a busy work-at-home mom, what could be better than that!!??
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This Easy One Pan Lentil Daal Curry recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and rivals any Indian restaurant curry I’ve ever tried. It’s so delicious and flavourful, and it’s made with super basic ingredients that are easy to find at your local supermarket. It’s vegetarian, can easily be made vegan, and it’s dairy-free too! If you love Indian food even a little bit, this Easy One Pan Lentil Daal Curry will become a healthy staple in your family’s meal plan for sure!!
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I hope you love this easy curry recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite healthy weeknight meal? I’d love to know!
KITCHEN PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND:
Looking for even more weeknight meal ideas? You’ll LOVE these:
Easy One Pot Pasta Primavera
Creamy Enchilada One Pot Pasta
Crispy Oven Fried Chicken
Skillet French Onion Stuffed Chicken
Skillet Pesto Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Chicken Breasts with White Wine Mushroom Sauce
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Watch the video below to see exactly how I make this easy meal! You can find more delicious recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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Easy One Pan Lentil Daal Curry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespooon mild red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- a pinch or two of salt and pepper
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cup split red lentils
- 5 cups vegetable stock (use chicken stock if you prefer)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 large handfulls fresh baby spinach
- fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- extra coconut cream for garnish, if desired
- Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant and soft.
- Add the curry paste, turmeric, tomato paste, and salt and pepper, and stir to combine, allowing the mixture to toast slightly over the heat for about one minute.
- Add the carrots, red bell pepper, and lentils and stir to coat in the spice mixture.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and stir well, covering the pan and allowing the mixture to come to a boil.
- Cook the lentil mixture for about 20-25 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the bottom from burning, until the lentils are puffy and soft and begin to lose their shape.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the coconut milk and spinach, stirring just until combined.
- Cover and allow the spinach to wilt for a few minutes in the hot curry.
- Serve over steamed rice with fresh Naan bread, your favourite crusty white bread for dipping, or bakery fresh pita bread as an easy alternative to homemade Naan.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this!
You’ll love it!! 🙂
thanks for the recipe.
Split red lentils generally only take around 4 minutes before turning to mush.
Others take about 20 minutes.
I guess it depends how you like your lentils.
In this recipe, I like them a little bit mushy (not gonna lie!!). They create such a silky texture in this curry and it works so well over rice. In other recipes I agree – a shorter cooking time would be better!
Absolutely delicious! And very easy to make!
So glad you like the recipe!! 🙂
Delicious! I have made this several times now and it never disappoints. I always make double and give some to my kids , they are always happy to take some for dinner . Its looks colourful too with the capsicum, spinach and the yellow of the curry….i love it.
So happy to hear that you and the kids like it so much! Thanks for leaving a comment😊
Do i really need the coconut cream?
Not necessarily, however it does add a delicious creaminess.
This recipe was incredible! My entire family loved it. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome! So glad you loved this recipe!! 🙂
This was amazing! I loved it so much.
Curious, could it be made with quinoa? Or Green lentils? I’m out of red lentils and the store didn’t have them either…with quarantine I won’t be going back for a couple weeks so curious if you think either would work.
It can be made with green split lentils, although I wouldn’t recommend adding quinoa.
Is there any chance I can make this using canned lentils?
Yes, although you’d need to reduce the liquid since canned lentils are already hydrated.
How much would you reduce the liquid when using canned lentils?
I’d reduce the liquid to 2 and a half cups to start, and let the mixture reduce.
My first time cooking lentils! Can I use green lentils or do they have to be red? And do they need to be soaked over night first or just added to the recipe dry??
Using green lentils in this recipe is a little more difficult since they’re not typically split like red lentils are, and therefore would require a longer cooking time and more liquid. When using red lentils, just add them dry to this recipe. Feel free to try this recipe with green lentils, but be sure to have more vegetable stock on hand to add as the mixture gets dry. And increase the cooking time 🙂
Thank you so much! I just bought red lentils at the store this morning and I can see that they are very different—much smaller. I must sound like a rookie!😬 I am really looking forward to try this recipe!!😆
I don’t have curry paste readily available for this recipe but I have everything else. Can I just sub a little extra tomato paste and some cutry powder instead? Will it be much of a difference?
The curry paste is the flavour base of this recipe. If you use tomato paste and curry powder the flavour won’t be the same, but it will still be delicious. 🙂
I’m wondering what type of curry paste you’re using for this recipe! I have Thai red curry but I assume you’re referring to something else?
Thai red curry paste is the right kind! 🙂
What’s the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream?
Coconut milk is both the coconut cream (fat solids) and coconut water mixed together (or sometimes separated in the can when you open it). The coconut cream is usually found in a smaller can and it’s the fat solids only.
This has become a regular in our house hold! I live the creaminess of coconut milk, so exchange one cupnif broth for a second cup of coconut milk. I add it earlier to avoid burning the lentils. So yummy!!
I’m so glad you enjoy it! 🙂
Can you use green lentils instead of split red??
You can, although I’d recommend split green lentils instead of whole green lentils.
This recipe was truly amazing!!! I’m so glad I tried it I’m sure this will be a staple for me in the future. Easy to make and so so tasty! Thank you!!
You’re welcome Noor!!
This is delicious! Absolutely loved it. But it makes so much! Can I freeze it?!
Yes, you sure can! Enjoy!
6 servings..but what is serving size?
It makes 8 servings of about one cup. Enjoy ☺️
One my favourites!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Super easy to make, delicious recipe! It’s the first time I’ve made anything like this and I really enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t care for was the whole baby spinach, so next time I’ll chop it up first.
So glad to hear you like the recipe!!
We LOVE this recipe! I was nervous about making any kind of curry (my mother-in-law is East Indian Canadian and she can COOK), but this turned out really well and my partner loves it. I may even make it when M.I.L comes to visit. Maybe.
Thanks so much!! Really glad you like the recipe!
Can’t go wrong with coconut curry! This looks absolutely amazing!
I know, right!? What’s not to love!? Thanks Lea!
really delicious and super easy to make, I loved it
So glad to hear that!! Thanks so much for your feedback!
This is even better with some lime juice and a little chili powder.
Hi Nancy! I love that addition! Thanks so much for your positive feedback on the recipe!
Absolutely delicious!! It’s become a regular meal in our house and my family are far from vegetarian.
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much Jules for taking the time to leave a comment! 🙂
Sooo yummy!! Even the fussy eaters liked this one.
I’m so glad!! 🙂 Thanks Amanda!
Really easy and really tasty! My 3 year old loved it!
So glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Charlotte! 🙂
I am going to try this recipe this weekend. if I wanted to cook it in the instant pot how would I change this to do that? Also where could I get the curry paste.
Hi Amber, here is an instant pot recipe: https://thebusybaker.ca/instant-pot-curry-with-lentils/. Hope this helps!
Just curious if you think this could work in the crock pot? I’m going to make it today regardless because it sounds delicious but I love using my slow cooker for Sunday meal prep.
I have never tried it myself so I couldn’t tell you, but if you do try, please let us know! Happy cooking ☺️
Just wondering if you use Thai red curry paste or Indian curry paste like Patak’s?
I personally use Thai red curry paste but I suppose you could any mild red curry paste (as long as it is a cooking paste not a ready made sauce). Happy cooking ☺️
At what temperature do I cook the lentils? Can this be made with regular red and brown lentils?
As it says in the recipe, I cook it on the stove on medium heat. As for the lentils, I’ve never tried this recipe with anything other than split red lentils. However, I wouldn’t recommend a mixture of different lentils as they might cook at different rates. Hope this helps! Happy cooking ☺️
Can the leftovers be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Very excited to try this recipe! However, I could only find whole red lentils vs split red lentils at my local grocery stores 🙁 Should I change the amount of liquid/cook time since the lentils aren’t split? Thanks in advance!
You should cook it a bit longer and you might need to add a bit more (about 1/4 cup) of vegetable stock or water, but don’t add it in until you see that it is needed.
I have tried this recipe and would just like to let you know that it is such a great recipe. It is quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious, I served with brown rice and homemade Naan and it was a big hit in our home, Definitely will be making again! Thanks for the recipe 👏
We’re so happy you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback! We usually enjoy it with our coconut lime rice, try it out! https://thebusybaker.ca/easy-coconut-lime-rice/
This was delicious and a big hit for all of us including my picky 9 year old. We will be making it again for sure. I wasn’t sure if the lid was to remain on or off once it came to a boil.
We’re so happy you enjoyed it! The lid can stay off after it comes to a boil. Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback!
My family loved this recipe. It was my first time making a curry and your recipe was so easy to follow, definitely gave me confidence to try more new things. I will be making this one again! Thank you so much!
We’re so happy you and your family enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback!
The taste of the recipe is a 5 star. But I agree with another person who rated this recipe. The lentil turned to mush and there was way too much liquid. We had to use soup spoons it was so liquidy. I will make again, but modify the amount of liquid (broth) and reduce the cooking time for the lentils or use a different lentil.
Thanks for the comment Bonnie. The idea behind this curry is that the lentils are cooked until they release their starch, creating a velvety sauce.
Can I use ginger powder instead of fresh, I don’t have fresh right now? If I can how much should I use?
You can use about 1/2 tsp of ginger powder depending on how strong your ginger powder is and your taste preference.
Delicious ! Do you think I can switch tumeric with yellow curry?
We’re happy you linke it! Thanks for your feedback. Switching turmeric with curry paste will give you a less yellow dish with a more potent curry flavour. I wouldn’t advise it unless you’re looking for more power from the curry.