Healthy Recipes

How to use red lentils (and make a delicious plant based lentil dish)

June 6, 2022

I’m Miranda.
Proving to you that healthy can be fun, and delicious! A busy working mum myself, here to share simple and effective ways to look and feel your best. 
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How to use red lentils to make a curry

Red lentils are a versatile legume full of plant based protein, fibre, iron and packed full of health promoting polyphenols. But knowing how to use red lentils can be tricky.

The best way to use red lentils are in a curry or soup.

Red lentils are softer than other types of lentils, and create a great consistency for a curry or a soup.

They have a slightly spicy flavour to them and are best cooked with other spices.

Do you need to soak red lentils?

You do not need to soak red lentils from a culinary perspective. They will cook relatively quickly. However, from a nutritional standpoint I would recommend soaking lentils before cooking because it will help to make them more easily digestible.

Simply add your dry red lentils to a bowl of warm cooled boiled water and add a splash of apple cider vinegar (you can leave out this step if you do not have it). Leave to soak overnight or for 12-24 hours.

When you are ready to cook your curry drain the lentils and rinse in water.

Do lentils make you fart?

If you are not used to eating legumes then lentils can be quite gas inducing! To make them easier to digest I would recommend soaking them for 12-24 hours before cooking and using a piece of kombu seaweed in your lentil dish. The enzymes in kombu break down the phytic acid in lentils making them more easily digestible (and you’ll end up less gassy).

Making a delicious plant based curry using red lentils

Serves 2 adults as a main dish or 4 adults as a side dish

Ready in 30 minutes: 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook


  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 red or orange diced pepper
  • 2 tightly packed cups of kale or spinach (frozen is fine)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • Lemon/lime wedges for serving
  • Corriander to garnish

Heat a large pot with some coconut oil

Saute veg for 5-10 mins

Add spices, lentils, stir well for a minute then add water

Bring to the boil

Lower heat and cover to cook around 15 minutes

Stir in coconut milk and kale/spinach

Season with salt and sprinkle on coriander (if you like it!). Serve with a lime or lemon wedge.

You could add some brown rice or an extra serving of vegetables, like broccoli, to make this a more filling meal.

Or you could make these delicious 3 ingredient naans:

3 Ingredient Paleo Naan (Indian bread)

Are you vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to eat less meat, but not sure where to get your plant based protein from?

Download my free veggie protein guide here for a full list of plant-based protein sources and some of my favourite plant based recipes.

Other blog posts you might enjoy:

  • Is oat milk good for you?
  • Vegan choc-chip cookies
  • How to stop sugar cravings

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