This red lentil curry is on standby for nights when I need to cook something with minimal effort. It’s a rich dish, thanks to the whole-fat coconut milk. But it’s balanced with healthy red lentils and spinach. The store-bought curry is a lifesaver and I almost always have leftover rice hanging around. Also, if you want to try your hand at making your own red curry paste, here’s a good recipe. The flavors will have more depth but I find when I want to make something quick, the store bought kind suffices.
Quick Red Lentil Curry with Spinach
- 1 1/2 cups whole-fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup red curry paste (see note)
- 3/4 cup red lentils
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- 4 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- Plain yogurt, garnish
- In a skillet with high sides, whisk together coconut milk, water and curry paste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add red lentils. Let simmer for 22 to 25 minutes, just until the red lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in spinach until wilted. Serve curry over cooked grain, with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.
Red Lentil Curry
As mentioned above, I use this as a go-to meal when I’m not really sure what to make (or we are almost in need of going to the store). I keep the red lentils but I’ll play with the add-ins a bit.
Greens: Add Swiss chard or turnip greens in place of or with the spinach.
Fresh Herbs: I enjoy adding fresh cilantro and parsley to the mix, usually on top with a spoonful of yogurt.
Extra Spice: I kept this dish as simple as possible, but you can raid your spice cabinet for extra flavor. Try adding a half-teaspoon of garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne for a bit of heat.
Explore Curry Paste
If you’re short on time and need a meal, curry paste is your friend. The flavor can easily complete a meal and help you cut a few time corners without cutting down on flavor. There’s quite a few curry paste recipes and store-bought varieties out there. For a bit more information on this, head over to the pantry page.