Red Lentil Curry

December 28, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2 as a main 4 as a side or starter
Author Notes

This recipe is a real favorite in my house. It is adapted from Gordon Ramsey's Rajasthani red lentil curry recipe. For a dinner party it can be served as a side to chicken or for a great midweek vegetarian meal simply serve with a naan bread. For the cream I use whatever I have in the fridge and have even left it out to be healthier. The curry can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until you need it, in fact it seems to taste better after sitting for a while. It also freezes well. - Jaynerly —Jaynerly

Test Kitchen Notes

When a curry craving hits this Red Lentil Curry will certainly satisfy. It comes together quickly with ingredients that are most likely stocked in your kitchen. The warm spices impart just the right amount of interest and the cream smooths it out nicely. A good quality canned tomato was substituted for fresh ones without any negative impact. Adding more liquid in the form of vegetable stock could transform it into a great soup. This is a very nice addition to your bean repertoire! —sticksnscones

What You'll Need
  • 8 ounces red lentils
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 large tomatoes, skinned & chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  1. Put the lentils, cloves, cinnamon stick and a few of grinds of pepper into a large saucepan. Cover with the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large pan, (I use a deep sided frying pan), add the onions and fry until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic and ginger, giving a quick stir to mix in. Add the garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir quickly to prevent the spices sticking. Once they are mixed into the onion mixture add the tomatoes and sugar.
  3. Having fished out the cinnamon stick and cloves add the lentils into the pan, season with salt and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently,
  4. Just before serving stir through the cream and cilantro.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Serrina Ruggles
    Serrina Ruggles
  • Michelle
  • AntoniaJames
  • nogaga
  • VanessaS

23 Reviews

Serrina R. April 12, 2015
Third time making this. Favorite lentil recipe! I love the consistency and variability of the flavors. I like to make this with all the spare veggies I have. Thanks for the post!
Jaynerly April 13, 2015
Thanks so much for letting me know that! I am really glad you enjoy it, it is a favorite of mine!
Michelle May 21, 2014
I don't have cloves, can I substitute with something else?
Jaynerly May 23, 2014
Allspice perhaps? The cloves lend a slight aroma but once all the other spices are added I dont think the cloves would be missed.
caroline November 11, 2013
Since my husband is vegan what can I use instead of cream? Thanks.
Jaynerly November 11, 2013
It will be fine without the cream. I often don't have cream handy and wouldn't buy a pot just for a couple of tablespoons, the curry is still good without the cream.
AntoniaJames October 15, 2012
Made another batch, this time using a box of Pomi diced tomatoes, drained. Worked really well, though I added a lot more cilantronto balance it. (It seems like there are more than five tomatoes per box.) So delicious!! ;o)
AntoniaJames October 5, 2012
Excellent recipe! The generous quantity of onions makes it so flavorful. I added a big squeeze of lime juice instead of cream or yogurt, because my fresh tomatoes were very sweet, so the dish desperately needed a bit of acid. Definitely making this again! ;o)
Jaynerly October 12, 2012
Thank you! Love the idea of lime!
AntoniaJames October 12, 2012
Making another batch tonight! I could live on this stuff. ;o)
Jaynerly October 12, 2012
:) So could I! I had it last weekend.
nogaga July 18, 2011
Just made this, using goat yogurt instead of cream, and it was a delicious combination of flavours! Thank you for the recupe :)
Jaynerly October 12, 2012
Thank you!
AntoniaJames January 13, 2011
Mmmm, yummmm. This one looks so good!! Definitely going to try it ASAP. ;o)
Jaynerly January 15, 2011
I hope you do, its good (well I think so!)
VanessaS December 28, 2010
Looks great, I definetly want to try this!
Jaynerly January 15, 2011
Thank you!
mrslarkin December 28, 2010
Well, hello there, Jaynerly! This sounds lovely!
Jaynerly January 15, 2011
Thank you! Finally I plucked up the courage!
Lizthechef December 28, 2010
Wonderful to see you on the site, Jaynerly - and your recipe is a rockstar! Thumbs up.
Jaynerly January 15, 2011
Sagegreen December 28, 2010
Looks delicious. A comfort food, too.
Jaynerly January 15, 2011
Thanks, it is indeed a good comfort food!