Curried Lentils

"Sometimes you can't improve on a basic recipe. This is an example. I found this recipe in an old New York Times Cookbook and I go to it again and again because it always comes out perfectly. Serve the lentils on a platter surrounded by a ring of jasmine rice. Also wonderful paired with chicken. Any type of lentil works great--I use yellow lentils."
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Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Combine the lentils and water in a pot. Add one of the onions and salt to taste and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, until lentils are just tender. Drain.
  • In a skillet, heat butter (or oil), add the remaining onion and garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion just starts to brown.
  • Add onions and garlic to the lentils. Add the curry powder and cook until very tender, about 10 more minutes.
  • Serve with white rice and lemon wedges.

Questions & Replies

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  1. After draining the lentils I found that there was no sauce, and I much prefer "saucy" beans. So, I added about 1 cup heavy coconut cream and 1/2 cup water with an additional teaspoon of curry powder and extra garlic. As written, I would have given this recipe 3 stars; I thought it needed more spice and was way too dry. But, with the addition of the coconut cream and extra curry this was over the top!! My boyfriend said this was the "best meal I've ever made!" I served the lentils over coconut jasmine rice and had to agree, this was one of the best meals I've made. If you love coconut try adding the cream mix! You'll love the curry-coconut combination!! This is a definite keeper!!
  2. This is a super recipe and you're right, you can't improve on it! I've made this at least a dozen times but cook all of my onions at the beginning, and otherwise make as stated. I use French lentils or brown lentils. I love the idea from some other reviewers of adding the coconut milk and may try that. As it is, this is not too strong of curry and my husband likes it that way! Thanks for posting, PainterCook, I'll keep using this one!
  3. I made this tonight using TreeSquirrel's recommendations (I love coconut cream) and must say my rating is based on the additions, otherwise it would be missing 2.5 stars. One extra I added was a little bit of sockeye salmon to my serving. It was delish. Thanks for sharing the recipe and tips from users.
  4. Wow! You're so right in saying "sometimes you can't improve on a basic recipe" because this is very, very good! Just as I was about to add the curry a friend called to invite herself to dinner. She's the friend who doesn't like curry. So I scooped some out for her, w/out the curry, and served it 2 ways. I added a little roasted garlic to hers and actually preferred it that way but the portions with the curry were stunning, as well! I served with brown rice. Thanks PainterCook! Made and Reviewed for PAC Spring 09.


I am a wildlife biologist, writer, and artist living in Northern Colorado. Cooking is one of my favorite activities, second only to watching Alton Brown on food network, or Anthony Bourdain on the travel channel. I also get a kick out of prowling antique malls looking for vintage cookware. <br> <br>I just want to share that I am a breast cancer survivor and was diagnosed youngish and early. Look forward to hearing from anyone with recipes that use cancer-fighting ingredients. <br> <br>Also, although I earn most of my living as a biologist, I am an artist and sell inexpensive but high-quality reproductions of my original animal/wildlife paintings online. While I can't quit my day job yet, support from sales allow me to donate artwork to conservation causes, as silent auction items, calendars, and greeting cards. My web site is listed below. <br> <br><embed src= quality=high bgcolor=#ffffff width=266 height=268 name=widget align=middle allowScriptAccess=sameDomain allowFullScreen=false type=application/x-shockwave-flash pluginspage= flashVars=&path_xml=widget.php&size=s&shape=sq&sid=54996&flash=1/> <br> <br>I like recipes that are simple enough that I can memorize them. This doesn't mean that I don't tackle complicated ones, just that I think it's good to have an arsenal of easy ones for any occasion. It is helpful as well to understand the science behind cooking, so you can develop your own versions of favorite dishes. It also helps if your top recipes are adaptable, in case you're missing an ingredient. <br> <br><img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket> <br> <br><img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket> <br> <br><img src=>
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