Easy red lentin, sweet popato and coconut curry

It feels a bit incongruous to be posting this hearty, warming recipe for red lentil, sweet potato, and coconut curry just as everyone gets excited about spring temperatures, but it’s so good that I can’t help myself. I shared this curry on Food52 a few weeks ago, as part of my vegan lunch series. It’s a favorite: rich, flavorful, easy to prepare, and incredibly filling. You can serve it on top of a bed of quinoa or rice, or all on its own.

Like many curries, the recipe is adaptable. Yellow split peas can work in place of red lentils. If you’d like to add celery or omit the carrot, or swap butternut squash for sweet potato, that’s fine. It’s the spices and the hearty texture of legumes + root vegetables that make the dish.



How to make 4 of Easy red lentin, sweet popato and coconut curry


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red lentils, dried
  • 2 medium sized sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • ½ cup coconut milk


  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and carrot.
  • Sauté the vegetables until the onion is soft and clear, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes.
  • Add a few tablespoons water to the pot to help prevent sticking if necessary.
  • Add the lentils, sweet potato, turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir to combine everything.
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for twenty-five minutes, or until the lentils and sweet potato are tender. Stir in the ½ cup coconut milk.
  • Serve.
  • Curry will keep for up to four days in the fridge. Leftovers can be frozen.


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