We love our lentils, don't we? I mean, why wouldn't we?
They're super versatile to cook, a great protein source to have and they are delicious!
This easy lentil turmeric curry or some people call it dhal curry, is just perfect if you're a beginner in curries or just want to consume lentils in a different way.
Texture and flavour - Creamy, a bit mushy with mild spices flavour lentil curry that doesn't use coconut milk *wink!*.
Diet - Vegan, plant-based.
Level - Super easy that you wouldn't believe.
Size - Perfect for 4-6 people, depending with what you eat it with.
Occasion - Amazing for meal prep and you can enjoy it the whole week in variety different ways, or make it for a special weekend where you dip this creamy lentil with my favourite flatbread, Malaysian roti canai.
Lets Talk Ingredients
Lentil - I use peeled split dry lentils. They cook super fast. You can use any other lentils, of course. Just follow the cooking instructions in your packet and cook them slightly more, for them to get a tad mushy.
Green chilli - Optional. I love green chillies in curries. Use red of whatever chilli you have. Or simply skip it.
Cayenne pepper - Optional, for the heat. Add more or less, to your liking. Or simply skip it.
SUBSTITUTION: You can use chilli powder or chilli flakes. You can also use dried whole chilli, just sautee it together with the onion.
Brown sugar - any sugar will do, no worries.
Cumin seeds - they have warm, earthy flavour. Perfect for this curry.
SUBSTITUTION: You can use the same amount of fennel seeds, caraway seeds or 1 star anise.
What To Eat It With
As I mentioned earlier, this lentil turmeric curry simply goes amazing with my Malaysian roti canai flatbreads.
But that's not all, my friend. Any flatbreads are amazing with it. Or any breads.
Or rice, any kind. Or quinoa. Just think of something that can soak up that creamy delicious goodness.
PRO CURRY LOVER TIP: Make it a day ahead, giving time for the flavours to really blend and it'll taste double delicious.
More Easy Recipe
- Quick lentil coconut curry
- Easy chickpea curry with spinach
- Quick 30-minute red curry laksa noodle soup
- Quick 30-minute chicken massaman curry (with peanut and coconut milk)
- Steamed fish with lime and garlic
Lentil Turmeric Curry
- 1 ⅓ cup peeled split dried lentil (250 g), washed and drained
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cup water (750 ml)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 inch ginger , minced
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- ½ red onion , thinly sliced
- 1 green chilli , sliced
- 1 tomato , peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup water (250 ml)
- ½ lemon , the juice
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- Add all lentils ingredients into a pot and give it a quick mix. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are tender and a bit mushy. Set aside.
Tempering The Spices
- Heat a casserole pan (or anything big enough to fit the lentils later) with some oil. Add all spices ingredients except for turmeric and cayenne pepper powder. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is golden brown.
- Now add in turmeric and cayenne pepper powders, give it a mix and cook for 1 minute.
Bring It All Together
- Finally add in our cooked lentils, together with the rest of the ingredients. Give it a good mix, adjust the seasonings and serve.
Originally published on Oct 10, 2017. Updated with improved text, recipe and pictures on Apr 20, 2021.