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Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry
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The following recipe and photography were provided by local blogger Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

Simmered in a rich, creamy and warmly-spiced coconut tomato sauce, lentils transform from basic pantry staple to seriously delish comfort food. The flavors are complex but the preparation is so simple. Serve this curry over quinoa or brown rice for the ultimate comfort food meal.

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Lentils are my favorite legumes because they cook in much less time than other dried beans and require no soaking. Plus, they’re loaded with plant-based protein, fiber and iron.

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

I love to prepare a batch to enjoy for lunches throughout the week. It’s also easy to double and freezes well for at least 3 to 4 months.

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry


  • 2 Tbsp. Heinen’s organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. Heinen’s cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. Heinen’s curry powder
  • 1 tsp. Heinen’s turmeric
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 28 oz. can Heinen’s crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 1 13 oz. can Heinen’s coconut milk (full fat recommended)
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups NatureFresh greenhouse-grown cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Heinen’s cooked quinoa or brown rice, to serve


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a wide, deep nonstick skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until soft and translucent but not too brown.
  2. Stir in the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, curry powder, turmeric, salt and black pepper. Sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and continue to simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes more, or until the lentils are tender and the dish has thickened.
  5. Season to taste with more salt, then fold in the cilantro and half of the tomatoes.
  6. Serve the curry over quinoa or brown rice. Top with the remaining tomatoes and extra cilantro.

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Carolyn Hodges

By Carolyn Hodges

Carolyn is a mom of boys and culinary dietitian in Cleveland, Ohio. The Dinner Shift is dedicated to helping busy moms get dinner on the table after the weekday grind, however that is defined for you and yours.

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