Curries make the absolute perfect healthy, quick, and delicious weeknight meal. With just a few staple spices, coconut milk, and whatever veggies you have lying around your kitchen you can create this tasty Vegetable and Lentil Coconut Curry. The flavors are comforting and warm, and it’s super versatile and takes minimal effort!
Lately I’ve come to the realization that you can make anything taste scrumptious if you throw in curry and coconut milk. Therefore I’ve been making a lot of curries lately and experimenting with the ingredients and technique. The flavors can vary somewhat depending on whether you use curry pastes, curry powder, or the individual spices that make up a curry. Either way, I’ve never tried a curry that I disliked. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again; the flavors of Indian cooking are incredibly comforting to me and I really enjoy them. It’s an added bonus that I can take whatever veggies I have in my fridge and turn it into a healthy and complete meal.
Usually when I’m making a dish like this I try and stick to Indian-style vegetables like cauliflower, lentils, peas, peppers, etc., but you could seriously use anything. I had a head of cauliflower, a bell pepper, lentils, spinach, and peas in my kitchen so automatically I was set up for success! Even though technically coconut milk has saturated fat, the vitamins and fiber that are in these vegetables and legumes make this meal nutrient-dense and something I can feel good about.
Matt asked me why I don’t use light coconut milk in my cooking. Well, that’s because it’s freaking awful, that’s why. And it’s a real shame too; I always try and use lighter versions when possible. But in my experience, the lack of fat in light coconut milk completed ruins the dish. It has a weird consistency and does not mix with the food the way you’re expecting. Also it lacks flavor and you might as well omit it completely. Hopefully one day I’ll come across a secret for using it. Until the however, I’ll have to suffer with full-fat.
Feel free to serve rice on the side with this curry, but it’s also excellent by itself. Also, pack leftovers up in tupperware container and be the envy of the office the next day as the aroma of curry wafts over your coworkers 🙂
Vegetable and Lentil Coconut Curry (serves 4)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips and halved
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1″ piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/3 cup lentils
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 large handful of spinach
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Red chili pepper to taste
- Cilantro (optional)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, and turmeric and cook for an additional 2 minutes and the onions are translucent. Add in the lentils and the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes. When lentil are almost completely cooked, add in the carrot, cauliflower, and coconut milk. Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes, then add the peas and spinach and simmer until the spinach is wilted and the peas are hot. Before serving squeeze in the lime juice and stir in the cilantro, if desired. Spoon into bowls and devour!