Coconut Curried Golden Lentils (20 Minutes!)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple, flavorful curried yellow lentils seasoned with fresh spices, garlic, ginger, and swimming in a curried coconut sauce. The perfect plant-based side!
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired
Serves: ~3 cups
  • 4 cups (960 ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (288 g) golden (yellow) lentils, rinsed and drained (or sub red with similar cook time or green with longer cooking time)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil (or water)
  • optional: 1 small shallot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbsp or 12 g)
  • 3 Tbsp (7 g) fresh minced ginger (1-2 Tbsp (2.5 - 4 g) more for more intense flavor)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp curry powder (DIY or store-bought)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper (for heat - omit if you don’t like spice)
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups (300-360 ml) light coconut milk (DIY or store-bought canned)
  • 1-2 Tbsp (12-24 g) coconut sugar or maple syrup (plus more to taste // or sub stevia)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot or saucepan. Add lentils and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook lentils uncovered for 4-5 minutes or until just tender. Then drain and set aside. Be careful not to overcook or they can become mushy (cooking time will vary by variety of lentil - check package for instructions).
  2. In the meantime, heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil or water, shallot (optional), garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add salt, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute more. Lower heat to low.
  3. Add coconut milk and coconut sugar (or maple syrup) and stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes to combine the flavors (see photo).
  4. Add the (well) drained, cooked lentils (see photo) to the coconut sauce and stir. They will likely need more seasoning at this point. I added a bit more salt, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, and coconut sugar because I like big flavor. But season to taste.
  5. Turn off heat, add lemon juice, and stir. Then serve and enjoy! These are delicious on their own, but they would also be tasty with rice, cauliflower rice, steamed or roasted vegetables, and more.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 6 total servings.
*Method adapted from the talented Sprouted Kitchen.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/2 cup (1 of 6 servings) Calories: 102 Fat: 5.1 g Saturated fat: 4.4 g Carbohydrates: 11.9 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 254 mg Fiber: 3 g Protein: 3.9 g
Recipe by Minimalist Baker at