Curried Red Lentil Stew

Curried Red Lentil Stew

This is one of those recipes that you might just have memorized after a time or two of making it. So simple to make, yet it brings together complex flavors, anti-inflammatory spices and satisfying plant-based protein in a dish that your whole family can enjoy. 

Cook: 30

Prep: 10

Serves: 6


  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 can coconut milk, full-fat
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3 cups water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup whole plain yogurt, optional
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, optional


  1. Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and and cook 5-7 minutes, until translucent. Stir in garlic, curry powder and cinnamon, and cook another minute or so, until starting to brown.
  2. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, golden raisins and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine then stir in water. Stirring occasionally, simmer for 20-25 minutes, until lentils are falling apart and tender.
  3. Once cooked, add juice from half a lemon, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with yogurt and cilantro.


Red lentils are an incredible source of protein and fiber, and they cook much faster than other lentils. Always pick over dried lentils and beans before cooking, as there are sometimes small rocks, seeds and other plant matter left over from harvesting.

Make Ahead

This recipe stores incredibly well—keep in the fridge for 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. I sometimes make a double batch, to keep on hand for easy, super nourishing lunches or dinners. Serve over roasted vegetables, brown rice or sautéed greens. 

Tools & Tips

Instant Pot: Follow steps 1 and 2 in your Instant Pot, adding 1 extra cup of water (4 cups total). Once all ingredients are well incorporated, cover and close the sealing vent. Set manual pressure setting to 4 minutes. Once done, press cancel and either let pressure release naturally, or carefully open the vent to quick release (I usually let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then quick release).