Vegan red lentil, ginger and coconut curry

Fresh ginger gives this vegan curry a nose-clearing kick.
Fresh ginger gives this vegan curry a nose-clearing kick. Photo: Katrina Meynink

This is comfort in a bowl. Make a big batch – it is great back-of-the-freezer fodder for emergencies. This is a milder curry but the fresh ginger still gives it wonderful nose-clearing capabilities.


1 tbsp rice bran oil

1 red onion, finely sliced

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

5 cardamom pods, bruised, outer husks discarded

10 fresh curry leaves

3 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely ground

2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or to taste)

2 tsp ground turmeric

120g red lentils, rinsed

400ml coconut milk

400ml vegetable stock

salt to season

To serve

8cm knob of ginger, grated (about 1 tbsp grated ginger per serve)

2 tsp nigella seeds (½ tsp per serve)

¼ cup coriander leaves

steamed rice



Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent (about 6 minutes).

Add fenugreek seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves and fry until toasted and fragrant (about 1 minute).

Add the cumin, chilli powder and turmeric and stir until fragrant. Add the red lentils, coconut milk and stock and simmer until the mixture is creamy (about 20 minutes). Season with salt to taste.

Ladle the curry into bowls, top with grated ginger, nigella seeds and coriander leaves. Serve with steamed rice and chutney.

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