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Vegan Red Lentil Curry

Vegan Red Lentil Curry

Vegan Red Lentil Curry

This easy and delicious recipe for a vegan red lentil curry will give you a healthy vegan dish that can be eaten as a main dish or as a side to any Indian meal.

The recipe is very simple to make and you can make it as spicy as you wish, depending on the choice of spices that you make.

red lentils how to cook


Red Lentil Dahl with coconut milk

This recipe is known as a Dahl (dhal, dal or daal) in India, which describes a dish with split lentils or chickpeas, which you could also use in this recipe. I used split red lentils here.

You could of course use any type of edible pulse or legume in this recipe, if you have something else you wish to use up.

The cooking time here is based on split red lentils, so be aware if you do use something else, the cooking time may differ. Split lentils tend to cook quicker than whole lentils for example.

I used some light coconut milk in this recipe, as that is what I had in the cupboard, but you could use full fat if you prefer. It would make it even more creamy. 

Dahl is often served as a side dish in Indian restaurants and can be as spicy as you like.

vegan red lentil dahl


The version I made in these photos was actually a fairly hot and spicy version. This was because I used some Goan curry powder , from Spice pots, that is just wonderful stuff. I picked this pot up once in the Specials line at Aldi, and have used this in a variety of Indian dishes I make. Really tasty and spicy stuff. 

But you can make this as hot and spicy or as mild as you like. If you do not want it to be too spicy then use a less hot curry powder or leave out the chilli powder.

What to eat with red lentil curry?

Well, you can eat this split red lentil dahl with a variety of meals. It is good on its own or with some naan bread or chapati to pick it up with.

red lentil coconut dahl

Vegan Red Lentil Curry


But I think it is best as an accompaniment to any Indian dish. At the end of this post, you will find some examples of Indian dishes that this dish would accompany well.

In this picture below, I served up with some chicken biryani and some thick natural yoghurt. Because of the spiciness of the Goan curry powder in the daal, the yoghurt was a welcome accompaniment. But some raita or mango chutney would also have been good.

red lentil dahl with biryani


Normally I would garnish it with some freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, but I did not have any available when I took these pictures. I am sure you can imagine how it would look 😄. (Remember, this is Gav’s Kitchen. I am cooking to eat, not to show!!)

I hope you enjoy trying this recipe. If you do, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below! 

Or maybe you just want a vegan meal delivered to your door? Then why not try these guys:

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How to make a vegan red lentil curry

red lentil dahl

Vegan Red Lentil Curry

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This delicious vegan red lentil curry can be served up on its own or as a side dish to something else. It is actually a red lentil dahl made with coconut milk and can be as spicy as you want to make it.


  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (I used some hot Goan curry powder, from Spice pots)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 150g split red lentils
  • 400ml coconut milk (I used reduced fat coconut milk)
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml water
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Fresh coriander to garnish


  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil in a saucepan on low heat. Add the minced ginger and mix well. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. Then add the curry powder and turmeric and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, place the lid on the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. After 30 minutes remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked, and the liquid has reduced.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper to suit.


Garnish with freshly chopped coriander before serving.

Serve up as a main dish with some naan bread, or as a side dish to another curry.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 545mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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