Green Lentil Curry

We all know (and some of us love) dhal made with little red lentils. It’s fast and simple to cook and immensely gorgeous. This curry takes longer to prepare as the green (or you can use brown) lentils need about 45 minutes to an hour of cooking to become tender and delicious. It’s worth the wait though, I promise.

The recipe comes from Anjum Anand’s book Anjum’s New Indian and is perfect as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish in a larger meal. Economical to make and if you make curries regularly you’ll have most of the ingredients to hand. Delicious eaten with naan bread and/or plain boiled rice – I added a dollop of creamy yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander.

Green Lentil Curry (9)

Ingredients (to serve 4-6 as a side dish)

  • 250g green lentils
  • A paste made from about 6g of peeled fresh ginger and about 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ small onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 rounded tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 3 small tomatoes puréed or grated or finely chopped
  • Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and stalks

Rinse the lentils and simmer in plenty of water until soft (about an hour).

Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds until they give off their scent then add the onion and cook until golden brown. Pour in the garlic and ginger paste and cook until this turns golden then add the salt and powdered spices and cook for 10 seconds.

Pour in the tomatoes and simmer until the moisture has cooked off and the oil has separated from the mix to form the masala. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the masala to the lentils and simmer for about 10 minutes. Check the seasoning again, sprinkle with coriander and enjoy.


44 thoughts on “Green Lentil Curry

  1. Lovely! As you said, as a curry lover, I already have all the ingredients. I may give it a try I’m the pressure cooker. Have a great weekend!

  2. I love lentils – think more so since living in Mauritius though.
    I have just taken out a pack of red lentils to make a dhal curry thing too. Great minds I tell you. 🙂 Your curry looks fabulous. Green lentils have just gone on to my shopping list.
    Have a lovely weekend Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  3. Qué receta tan buena! A mi me encantan las lentejas y es una manera deliciosa de prepararlas, distinta a las típicas lentejas con chorizo que solemos tomar por aquí… 🙂

      1. Oddly, even though it’s not far away, I don’t go much. There’s not much there other than Euston station.

  4. Oh Tanya, this simple curry will go right onto my kitchen file to try, and I am certain, to keep! Thank you!! Now I cook red lentil dhal on a regular basis and in an odd way – I cook them longer until almost mushy and then fill a number of small ramekins topping with the usual browned spiced onions – into the freezer they go to be used one by one on morning toast instead of butter on their own or with some tomato salsa or similar: honestly the hot toast and cold dhal are absolutely delightful as far as my taste buds go. But can’t wait to make your curry: probably as a side!!!!!

  5. I’ve never been sure about lentils… I think I’m traumatised from past experiences with school meals! Saying that, this curry may well have to be tried! 🙂

    1. It’s funny, I don’t remember loving then in any way when I was younger – now I really enjoy them (and all other pulses)! Perhaps as an impoverished student I learned there were lots of interesting way to cook them!

  6. I truly and deeply love you Ms Chica. Thank you for giving me something to eat this month. I have been steadily wasting away on a blogging diet of delicious but verboten foodstuffs and you just threw me a lentily life line. Narfarella SHALL go to the ball 🙂

    1. Happy to oblige Ms Narf – glad you liked it! Sorry I’m so slow in replying – yesterday was busy busy busy and ended up with Big Man in A&E with a bit of masonry it his eye L Luckily ass was well but he did get the lecture from me (many times) about wearing safety goggles…..!

      1. Sounds like Stevie-boy, heck sounds like just about EVERY man to be honest…can’t read an instruction book and haven’t got time to put on safety equipment. Stevie-boy is blaming too much loud music and being in a band for his deafness when it’s MORE than obvious his not wearing earmuffs when he chainsaws is more likely the culprit and he hangs off roofs, ladders, beams, over precipices with mad abandon (can’t say “gay abandon” any more… a whole nuther world!) and a complete disregard for his life. I guess nature made it that way, we don’t need all that many men to “impregnate” all of us girls so the reckless gene is probably natures way of doing most of them in BUT she didn’t figure on us girls developing a fondness for the silly buggers now did she? So WE have to spend our days holding ladders, yelling till we are hoarse, picking up the pieces, driving the twits to the hospital and worrying about them endlessly when they are just up for their next adventure on a ladder while their eyes are still pirate like and twitchy! Sigh…My sisters ex almost lost BOTH of his eyes by not wearing safety glasses and working with a battery in a tractor and it blew up… nuff said!

      2. So true, so true. Big Man is a map of scars and broken bones and teeth. Needless to say, most of these things happened before I knew him (apart from the almost slicing off a finger while “dealing” with a cockerel…but quite frankly he probably deserved that one in the cockerel’s view 😦 )

      3. Steve is just bloody lucky that he was a skateboarder when he was a kid and has ADHD as he has to react immediately to so many things. If it was me, I would be LONG dead! 😉

      4. Don’t worry Ms Chica, narfs never EVER put themselves in that kind of position… that’s a “man” thing, and narf is most definitely NOT a man…the 3 times I visited the labour ward was a definite give away…finally learned what was causing it after that third time and made SURE it didn’t happen again! 😉

  7. I’m having leftover indian takeaway for dinner tonight. No lentils but I am hooked on any type of curry containing cauliflower at the moment! I always like the idea of Puy lentils, but have yet to give them a go!

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