This simple lentil curry is made with a spicy Thai-inspired coconut sauce and tender cauliflower florets! Easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, this one is perfect for a weeknight dinner.
I could eat this lentil curry for dinner every night. That would make for a very boring blog though.
The thing is, I’m just not up for super complicated meals at the moment. Anyone else feel the same?
Thai curries tend to be pretty easy to make, so they’re great for weeknight dinners! All the flavor is packed into curry paste. There’s chili peppers, ginger, lime, garlic, and tons of spice in a little jar that you can conveniently pick up at a supermarket. (Though you can also make your own, if you’ve got the time).
Just add curry paste to some coconut milk and you’ve got the start of a delicious meal. Easy peasy!
Choosing a Curry Paste
First off: be sure to read the ingredients on your curry paste to ensure that it’s vegan. Not all brands are! Look out for ingredients like fish sauce and shrimp paste.
There are a handful of vegan-friendly brands available.
Maesri is my favorite, easy to find brand of Thai red curry paste that also happens to be vegan. Lots of supermarkets carry it, and it’s available on Amazon. This brand is full of flavor and heat.
Thai Kitchen is a brand of curry paste available almost everywhere. It’s also vegan. Yay! Thai Kitchen is a bit mild for my taste, but if you’re sensitive to spicy foods it might be a good choice for you. Most supermarkets carry this on, as does Amazon.
You can also make your own curry paste using my recipe. It’s obviously more work than using store-bought, but it’s freezer-friendly, so you can make a big batch and keep some on hand for future curries.
How to Make Lentil Curry
Start by boiling your lentils. This can take some time, but it’s mostly hands-off. Just cover them with water and let them simmer until they’re almost fully cooked. Drain them when they’re done.
Now heat up some oil in a medium pot. When the oil is hot, add some garlic, ginger, and your red curry paste. Sauté everything briefly, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.
Now add some coconut milk, along with your lentils and cauliflower. Let the mixture simmer until the cauliflower is tender. Season the curry with a bit of coconut milk, a squeeze of lime juice, maple syrup, and salt to taste.
Serve your curry with some rice and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and/or scallions.
Lentil Curry Tips & FAQ
- Is this curry gluten-free? It is!
- Can I use red lentils? Possibly, but keep in mind that red lentils cook up super soft and don’t hold their shape when cooked, so the texture will be very different.
- Can I use full-fat coconut milk? I don’t see why not!
- Can I use a different type of non-dairy milk, such as soy or almond? Technically yes, but I don’t recommend it. Much of the richness and flavor of Thai curry comes from the coconut milk.
- Leftover storage: leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Don’t forget to check the ingredients on your curry paste! Not all brands are vegan.
Thai Lentil Curry with Cauliflower
This simple lentil curry is made with a spicy Thai-inspired coconut sauce and tender cauliflower florets! Easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, this one is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
- 1 cup dried green or brown lentils
- 1 tablespoon canola oil (or high-heat oil of choice)
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste, plus more to taste (I use 4 tablespoons)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 ml) can light coconut milk
- 2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1/2 of a large crown)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Cooked rice
- Chopped scallions
- Fresh cilantro
Place the lentils into a medium pot and cover them with water.
Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer until the lentils are just almost fully cooked, but still a bit firm in their centers, about 20-25 minutes for green lentils, or 15-20 minutes for brown lentils.
Drain the lentils into a colander and set them aside.
Return the pot to the stove over medium heat and coat the bottom with oil.
When the oil is hot, add the curry paste, garlic and ginger. Sauté everything for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.
Return the lentils to the pot and stir in the coconut milk and cauliflower. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer, uncovered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the maple syrup and lime juice. Season the curry with salt to taste, and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
Divide into bowls with rice, scallions and cilantro. Serve.
Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.
Thai Lentil Curry with Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 377 Calories from Fat 149
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1.5g8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.