This wholesome vegan coconut lentil curry with piles of hearty butternut squash simmered in creamy coconut milk will become your favourite if you give it a try. Best of all, it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans!
A good lentil curry is a weekday staple in my house. Everyone loves the warm flavours and hint of spice. I love being able to serve such a nutritious meal. Even better when it makes everyone so happy!
Coconut Lentil Curry
Coconut milk and lentils are the best of friends in a curry. The coconut milk adds a light nuttiness and makes the curry surprisingly creamy. The lentils add bulk to the curry so it is a satisfying meal.
One thing that keeps people from trying curries at home is the number of spices you need. The list can be long and who wants to buy a spice you might only use once?
I’ve learned that a good curry paste solves this problem perfectly. They are made with just the right combination of flavours for a perfect curry taste. And using a paste means that you only have to buy one ingredient, not several! Try out the brands and varieties available at your local supermarket to see which works the best for you!
Do you have to cook lentils first?
Lentils can be ready quickly so there is no need to cook them first. They can be added directly to the pan with the other ingredients and will be ready in twenty minutes.
I chose green lentils for this recipe because they hold their shape when cooked. They also add a robust and slightly peppery taste. They take a bit longer to cook than other types of lentils but I think the wait is worth it.
How to make a vegan coconut lentil curry
Making a vegan curry is really easy, especially if using a pre-made curry paste. I used a tikka masala paste for this recipe.
I always start making curry by frying chopped onions, with garlic and ginger added after five minutes. This is important to build a good foundation of flavour and releases delicious aromas. Then add the curry paste and stir it in while frying for another thirty seconds.
Now that the base is ready, add the lentils and stir them in to combine with the other ingredients. Then add the coconut milk, water and butternut squash cut into cubes.
Bring everything to a boil and lower the heat. Cover the pan and let it simmer for twenty minutes or until the lentils and squash are ready to eat. Stir in one cup of fresh spinach and let it wilt into the curry for one or two minutes.
- Curry paste is the best way to add the right combination of spices to a curry. It is possible to keep a lot of curry spices around to use, but why? Curry pastes are the easiest solution and work for a range of curries.
- Ginger paste and frozen spinach make this recipe even easier to make!
- Indian pickles and chutneys are amazing with this curry! Chilli lime pickle is my personal favourite.
- Serve the curry over a bed of rice with naan or chapati on the side.
- 1 kg/2.2 lb squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
- 1 tbsp veg oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 3 tbsp curry paste
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 can coconut milk 400ml/14 oz
- 375 ml/1.5 cup water or veg stock
- 1 cup spinach
- Clean and cube the butternut squash and chop the onion.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chopped onions for 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and grated ginger and fry briefly for 30 seconds. Then add the curry paste and cook for 30 seconds longer while stirring.
- Add the uncooked lentils and stir to combine, then add the coconut milk, water and cubed butternut squash, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer covered for 20 minutes until both lentils and squash are tender. Stir in spinach and let it wilt for 1-2 minutes. Serve with rice and naan.
Using a curry paste makes this a very simple dish to make. I chose tikka masala paste when making this for my family.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g