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This Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stove top. Infused with fragrant Indian spices, this recipe is not only delicious, it is is vegan and gluten free! #currylentils #indianlentils #lentilcurry #veganlentilcurry #instantpot #vegan #vegancurry #veganlentils #eatclean #cleaneating #plantbased

Lentil Curry Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 65 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: vegan, main, stew, instant pot
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan


This Coconut Lentil Curry can be made in an Instant Pot in about 30 minutes or on the stovetop.  Infused with fragrant Indian spices, this recipe is not only delicious, it is is vegan and gluten free! Serve it over a bed of spinach, basmati rice or with homemade naan bread!


Units Scale
  • 12 tablespoons coconut oil, or ghee(ghee tastes best)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, rough chopped ( 34 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root, finely chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, diced (or sub 1 cup celery)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (seeds or ground)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander ( seeds or ground)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric ( or 1 tablespoon fresh grated)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (not smoked, or sub chili powder)
  • 2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional, but elevates)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/43/4 teaspoon cayenne (or chili flakes) more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste ( or add 1 small-medium diced tomato)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown lentils (or large green- do not use split)
  • 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (ADD AFTER YOU COOK THE LENTILS)

To further elevate: add 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon fennel seeds.

Optional Additions: baby spinach, cilantro, turmeric toasted coconut, fresh tomatoes, avocado slices, fresh chilies, naan bread, fluffy basmati rice.


  1. Set Instant Pot to the Saute function, heat the oil and saute the onion, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and carrots, saute 3 more minutes, stirring.  Add all the spices, salt and tomato paste, stir for 1 minute. Add the water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the brown lentils, give a stir and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. If using other lentils, see notes. Manually release!
  3. Stir in the coconut milk.
  4. At this point, if you wanted, you could also add other veggies- peas, cauliflower, or a handful of spinach to wilt.
  5. Re-taste for salt, adding more if necessary (especially if adding a lot of veggies)  and add more Garam Masala to taste, or chili flakes. If it seems watery, saute or keep on warm, uncovered for a bit. The Coconut Lentil Curry will also thicken slightly as it cools.
  6. Serve over a bed of baby spinach, over basmati rice (or both) or with homemade Naan.
  7. To make the Turmeric Coconut Chips, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add ¼ cup coconut flakes and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon ground turmeric. Dry fry for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly until fragrant and lightly toasted.  Turn off heat.  These are too easy to burn, so don’t walk away!


STOVE TOP : To make on the stove top(about 45 mins total)  heat  oil in a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Saute onion over medium high heat until fragrant and golden, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and carrots and cook another 3 minutes until you smell the garlic. Add salt, spices, tomato paste and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the water, scraping up the browned bits. Add an additional ¼ cup water (so a total 2 ¼ cups water)  and the lentils. Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer on low heat until lentils are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk. Adjust heat ( adding more cayenne or chili flakes. )

*** If using smaller lentils, decrease pressure cooking time. 5-7 minutes???


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 312
  • Sugar: 3.2 g
  • Sodium: 628.1 mg
  • Fat: 18.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 15.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.8 g
  • Fiber: 5.3 g
  • Protein: 10.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 5.1 mg