Curried Red Lentils with Ginger

I made this recipe several weeks ago and it got kind of lost in the shuffle.   I wasn’t sure if I was going to post it or not, but when I recently pulled out the leftovers from the freezer to have for lunch, I was reminded of how good it was.

This lentil dish was part of my dried bean/legume kick that I mentioned last week.  Unlike the black-eyed peas in last week’s recipe, however, the red lentils in this dish did not have to be soaked before they were cooked and overall had a fairly quick cooking time.  So for those of you who are not so sure about cooking with dried beans or legumes because of the time and preparation required, red lentils might be a good place to start.

The flavor and texture of red lentils is another reason to try cooking with them.  The pleasant earthy taste of red lentils melds well with a variety of flavors, but goes especially well with curry and ginger.  Unlike other lentils, red lentils also break down quite quickly when they are cooked, leading to lovely thick and smooth soups and stews.   Adding chunky vegetables, like sweet potatoes and butternut squash, can also add great tastes and texture to the lentils.

In addition to their great flavor and texture, I also enjoy red lentils because they remind me of dishes I had growing up.  Since it is Mother’s Day, I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t thank my mother, who introduced me to lentils in the first place.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  Thanks so much for sharing your love of good food and cooking with me!

Curried Red Lentils with Ginger

Adapted from 150 Vegan Favorites

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, finely minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash
  • Salt and pepper

In a large pot heat a few tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.   Add onion and cook for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  Mix in the ginger root, curry powder, cumin, and turmeric and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the red lentils and water and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Once mixture begins to simmer, turn down heat and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in diced sweet potato and butternut squash and cook until vegetables and lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

This thick and hearty dish is rich with ginger and curry flavor.

Easy Rating


Four Easy Chairs (“ABC, Easy as 123…”!)

As I mentioned above, red lentils don’t require soaking overnight and the cooking time is relatively quick. This dish also freezes well, so you can make a big batch and enjoy leftovers at a later date.

Healthy Rating


Five Apples (My Body is My Temple!)

Red lentils are high in protein and fiber and there is very little added fat in this dish.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

The dried lentils came from the bulk bins at the store, so there was very little waste there. All of the veggies were organic, but not local.

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