Coconut Brown Lentils: A Hearty and Delicious Dish

My dear readers, let me introduce you to a vegan delight that is sure to satiate your taste buds and get you hooked with its rich aroma and creamy texture. I am pleased to share with you my recipe for Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils.

This recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a hearty plant-based meal that is easy to prepare and packed with nutritious ingredients. With brown lentils as the star of the show, these curried golden lentils are infused with the flavors of cumin seed, garam masala, turmeric, and cardamom, creating a rich melody of flavors that will transport you to the vibrant streets of India.

The addition of creamy coconut milk enhances the already rich lentil curry and offers a subtle sweetness that perfectly balances out the spiciness of the seasonings. This dish can be served simply on its own or paired with basmati rice or naan bread for the ultimate combination.

So whether you want to impress your dinner guests or whip up a quick and easy meal after a long day at work, my Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils recipe will not disappoint. So without any further ado, let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils (Vegan)
Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils (Vegan)

Dearest reader,

I implore you to indulge in this Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils (Vegan) recipe. You will undoubtedly fall head over heels in love with its many attributes.

Firstly, let us discuss the taste. The combination of coconut milk and spices such as cumin seed, garam masala, turmeric and cardamom create a creamy and flavorful base for the lentils. The subtle sweetness of the coconut perfectly compliments the warmth and depth of the spices. It is an excellent dish for those who enjoy a bit of heat but are not fans of overly spicy food.

Secondly, it is a healthy alternative for those who are health-conscious or following a plant-based diet. Brown lentils are high in protein and fiber, making them filling and perfect for curries or soups. This recipe provides an excellent balance of macronutrients without any added fats or unnecessary ingredients.

Thirdly, it is quick and easy to prepare on those hectic weeknights. With only a handful of ingredients and minimal prep work required, you can have a delicious meal on the table within 30 minutes.

Lastly, this recipe is versatile! You can easily substitute different types of lentils or add in extra vegetables such as sweet potatoes or spinach to make it even heartier.

In conclusion, this Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils (Vegan) recipe is not only delicious but also healthy, quick and easy to prepare, and versatile enough to suit your personal taste preferences. I urge you to give this recipe a try – I guarantee that you will fall in love with it just as I have!

Ingredient List

 Creamy coconut brown lentils are a vegan comfort food that's easy to whip up in a hurry.
Creamy coconut brown lentils are a vegan comfort food that’s easy to whip up in a hurry.

Key Ingredients for Flavorful Coconut Brown Lentils

To make our Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils, you will need the following flavorful ingredients:

  • Brown Lentils: 1 cup brown lentils are recommended for this recipe, but you can also use green lentils or a mix of both.
  • Coconut Milk: For that creamy coconut flavor, use one can of full-fat coconut milk. Make sure to shake it well before opening the can to mix any separated liquid.
  • Onion, Garlic, and Ginger: These three aromatic elements are key to giving our lentil dish its bold flavors. Peel and mince them before cooking.
  • Curry Powder: You will need 1 tablespoon of curry powder for spice and color. This blend of spices usually includes turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and chili powder.
  • Cumin Seeds: Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds to create a nutty flavor.
  • Garam Masala: This fragrant spice mix includes cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. A pinch of garam masala (about 1/4 teaspoon) will provide warmth and depth to the dish.
  • Salt & Pepper: For seasoning the dish.
  • Coconut Oil or Olive Oil: These oils are both great options for cooking the lentils in. Coconut oil will add extra coconut flavor while olive oil is a healthier alternative.

The Recipe How-To

 This dish is easy on the wallet and full of protein and fiber.
This dish is easy on the wallet and full of protein and fiber.


To start with, rinse 2 cups of brown lentils thoroughly and place them in a large pot. Pour 3 cups of water into the pot and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked thoroughly.

Curry Base

While the lentils are cooking, cut one onion into small pieces and sauté it in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and continue to sauté for 30 seconds to a minute until aromatic.

Spice It Up

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin seed, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of garam masala into the onion mixture. Stir the spices in well and allow them to cook with the onion mixture for about a minute.

Coconut Curry Lentil

Add 1 can (13.5oz) of coconut milk to the pot with the cooked lentils. Then add the spiced onion mixture to the pot and stir everything together well. Turn up the heat to high and bring everything to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Ready to Serve

Now your creamy coconut brown lentil curry is ready to be served. Serve it warm over basmati rice or quinoa. Feel free to garnish it with fresh cilantro or chopped green onions.


Substitutions and Variations

 Lentils are a pantry staple that you can always turn to for a quick and nutritious meal.
Lentils are a pantry staple that you can always turn to for a quick and nutritious meal.

As a vegan chef, I understand the importance of being able to modify recipes according to one’s taste preference or dietary restrictions. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of substitutions and variations that you can try in this coconut brown lentils recipe.

Firstly, if you don’t have brown lentils on hand, you can easily substitute them with green or red lentils. However, be aware that cooking time and texture may differ slightly, so adjust accordingly. You can also try mixing different types of lentils to give your dish a unique flavor and texture.

For those who are spice lovers, feel free to experiment with different spices to enhance the flavor of this dish. Try adding some cumin seeds, garam masala, cardamom or turmeric to give your lentil curry an extra kick.

If you prefer a creamier curry, you can use more coconut milk or add a tablespoon of cashew butter to the mix. This will give your lentil curry a rich and smooth texture that tastes indulgent while being healthy at the same time.

Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, spinach or squash make great additions to the recipe. They add color, texture and more health benefits to what is already a high protein dish. To include these vegetables in the preparation process, cook them before adding them into the pot with the cooked lentil mixture

For those who love one-pot meals but don’t have an instant pot or slow cooker; worry not! You can easily convert this recipe into a stove-top one by following the same instructions but using a large pot instead.

I hope these substitution suggestions give you fresh ideas on how to make this coconut brown lentil recipe your own. Get creative and trust your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 This savory dish is perfect for a hearty lunch or a comforting dinner.
This savory dish is perfect for a hearty lunch or a comforting dinner.

When it comes to serving and pairing this delicious Coconut Brown Lentil Curry recipe, there are many exciting options you can consider based on your personal preferences! One of my favourite ways to enjoy this hearty curry is to serve it over a bed of fluffy Basmati rice or quinoa. The nutty flavor and soft texture of the grains complement the creamy coconut lentil curry perfectly!

For those who enjoy a bit of crunch, try garnishing your dish with toasted cashews or pumpkin seeds. These toppings will not only add some texture but also a nutrient-rich source of healthy fats and protein.

If you’re looking to add an extra dose of greens to your meal, consider serving this coconut lentil curry with a side of steamed spinach or kale. The bright green color and tender leaves make for an excellent contrast to the creamy texture of the lentil stew.

For those who like their meals spicy, try adding a dollop of hot sauce or Sriracha on top for an extra kick. This will not only satisfy your taste buds but also add some depth and complexity to the flavors in the dish.

Finally, another great option for pairing this lentil curry is sweet potatoes. You can either cook sweet potatoes separately and serve them alongside the curry, or simply toss them into the pot while cooking the lentils for a wholesome one-pot meal! The sweetness from both the potato and the coconut milk creates an irresistible explosion of flavors that will leave you craving more.

Regardless of how you choose to serve this Coconut Brown Lentil Curry, rest assured that you’re in for a healthy vegan meal that is packed with high protein, good fats, fiber, and mouth-watering flavors that will tempt your taste buds and nourish your body!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 I love how the coconut milk adds an unexpected and delicious twist to classic brown lentils.
I love how the coconut milk adds an unexpected and delicious twist to classic brown lentils.

Now, let’s talk about what to do with your delicious Coconut Brown Lentils if you have any leftovers. Don’t worry; they’re good for up to three days in the refrigerator. But if you’re like me and like to plan ahead, this recipe is perfect for making ahead of time and re-heating for later meals.

To store your lentil curry, transfer it to an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge. Alternatively, you could freeze it in a freezer-safe container, but I highly recommend eating it within a week of freezing.

When reheating your coconut brown lentils, add some water or vegetable broth to thin out the curry. Then heat it slowly over medium heat while stirring occasionally so that the curry doesn’t stick to the pot.

If you want to prepare this dish in advance for a quick weeknight dinner, cook the lentils ahead of time and store them on their own separate from any sauce. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the lentils while making the sauce according to the recipe instructions.

Alternatively, you could make a big batch of these creamy coconut lentils and enjoy them throughout the week by packing them for lunch or taking them as a side dish for dinner. The high protein content also makes this recipe an excellent addition to your meal prep routine.

In conclusion, this recipe is perfect for busy weeks when you’re strapped for time or have limited energy, but want something nourishing and satisfying. With these storage tips, you can enjoy the creamy coconut lentils any time of day without sacrificing flavor or texture – simply frozen or stored in an air-tight container until you’re ready to heat them up again!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Sweet and nutty, coconut milk is a wonderful ingredient to experiment with in savory dishes.
Sweet and nutty, coconut milk is a wonderful ingredient to experiment with in savory dishes.

As a vegan chef, I have tried and tested various ways to perfect the recipe for Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils. Here are some tips that will help you achieve the best results with this dish.

1. Use fresh spices: Spices such as cumin seed, garam masala, turmeric, and cardamom contribute to the rich flavor of the lentil curry. However, using stale spices can result in a lackluster taste. Therefore, make sure that you use freshly ground or whole spices for this recipe.

2. Cook lentils properly: To ensure that your lentils are tender enough to melt in your mouth but not mushy, pre-soak them before cooking. This helps in reducing the cooking time while also ensuring that the lentils cook evenly. Moreover, do not overcook them as it can make them too soft.

3. Add coconut milk carefully: Coconut milk is an essential ingredient that gives this dish a creamy texture and a subtle sweetness. However, adding it at the wrong time or in excess can easily lead to curdles forming – ruining your curry’s texture and overall flavor. Therefore, add coconut milk gradually and at the appropriate time in the cooking process – usually towards the end.

4. Experiment with different vegetables: While this recipe already includes onions and garlic, you can customize it by adding more vegetables such as spinach, sweet potatoes, or other greens – making for a more nutrient-dense meal.

5. Serve with appropriate sides: The lentil curry pairs well with basmati rice or any grain of your choice as well as bread such as naan or roti. It also makes an excellent dipping sauce for any vegetable dish.

6. Adjust seasoning to taste: Every person’s taste buds vary greatly; hence it’s advisable to adjust your seasoning based on your personal preferences before serving the dish.

By following these tips, you’re surely going to turn out a fantastic Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentil dish!

Bottom Line

To conclude, this Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils recipe is a must-try for all vegan food lovers out there. The creamy coconut milk and the aromatic blend of spices give the lentils a rich and flavorful taste that will surely satisfy your cravings. It is also an excellent source of high protein, making it perfect for those following a plant-based diet.

Whether you choose to make it in an instant pot, slow cooker, or stovetop, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Additionally, the versatility of this recipe allows for easy substitutions and variations to fit your desired taste preferences.

Not only is this dish delicious and healthy, but it’s also budget-friendly and can easily be made in large batches for meal-prepping or feeding a crowd. So why not give this recipe a try today? Trust me; you won’t regret it!

Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils (Vegan)

Quick & Easy Coconut Brown Lentils (Vegan) Recipe

I love lentils and am trying to eat more of them. These would probably speed by in a pressure cooker but I've only done them the stovetop way so far. Inspired by both Indian and Indonesian cooking. You can use a 15-oz can of brown lentils to reduce the cooking time if you like, I sized it the same with 2/3 dry cup and included instructions for canned as well. The aseptic or half-gallon boxes of So Delicious coconut milk would probably work well too if you just measure out 14 oz. I use 365 Light Coconut but "light coconut milk" isn't recognized in the ingredient database. "Brown lentils" also aren't recognized? 1/3 cup each of brown and green lentils would also be cool!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 3
Calories 379.8 kcal


  • 2/3 cup uncooked lentils (or 1 15-oz can)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut (fine-flake)


  • Wash and sort through the lentils to remove pebbles, bad ones, etc. (If using a can, just rinse and drain.) Bring the coconut milk to a low boil and add the lentils and spices but NOT the shredded coconut.
  • Loosely cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils have softened. (If using canned-- this only needs 5-10 minutes for the flavors to impart.).
  • Fluff up the lentils and mix in the coconut so it adds a nice crunch. Serve with veggies and rice and enjoy.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 192gCalories: 379.8kcalCarbohydrates: 20.4gProtein: 7.2gFat: 32.5gSaturated Fat: 28.8gSodium: 59.7mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Asian, Beans, Beginner Cook, Coconut, Easy, Fruit, Indonesian, Lentils, Nuts, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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