Go Back
Print

Red Lentil Curry with Pilau Rice

Red lentil curry is a quick and cheap homemade vegan meal. Packed with the perfect balance of spice and sweetness, this curry makes a filling lunch or dinner served with fragrant, golden pilau rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author What Jessica Baked Next

Ingredients

Red Lentil Curry:

  • 200 g (1 cup) dried red lentils washed and drained
  • 1 vegetable stock cube or pot
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium brown or red onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger I use frozen ginger for ease
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder I use medium curry powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (ground or seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper optional
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 400ml can coconut milk I use full-fat
  • 1 tablespoon mango chutney
  • 2 very generous pinches of nigella seeds (roughly one teaspoon) optional

Pilau Rice:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves tear to release even more flavour
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 300 g long grain rice
  • 600 ml boiling water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon baking block or dairy-free spread optional

Instructions

To Make The Red Lentil Curry:

  • Take the rinsed lentils and add them to a medium saucepan. Add the vegetable stock cube/pot and cover the lentils with boiling water - add enough to just cover and go above the lentils by about 1 cm. Bring up to the boil, cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to low and gently simmer the lentils for 10 minutes. When the water is absorbed, take the lentils off the heat. 
  • Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger along with salt and pepper for 5 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
  • Add the spices to the pan and toast for a minute until fragrant. Now add the tomato purée and cook for a further minute. Add the coconut milk, mango chutney and nigella seeds (if using), stir to combine, then cover the pan with a lid and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. 
  • Now add the lentils to the pan and stir the lentils into the curry sauce. Simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the pilau rice or your choice of sides.

To Make The Pilau Rice:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Heat the oil in a large (oven safe) saucepan on a medium heat. Add the cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, turmeric and cumin seeds. Gently cook, just toast lightly stirring constantly for a minute until fragrant - be really careful not to overheat the spices.
  • Now add the rice and toast for another minute and coat thoroughly in the spices. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with the boiling water. Stir the rice, with a fork, turn the heat up to high and leave on the heat until the rice comes up to the boil. Once boiling, cover the pan with a lid and braise in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Once the rice is ready, remove from the oven and if desired, discard the cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and the cinnamon stick. Using a fork, finish the rice by mixing in the tablespoon of dairy-free spread or baking block. Leave the rice on the side with the lid on for 5 minutes to allow the spices to infuse, then serve alongside the curry.
  • The curry and rice will keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.