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Favorite Vegetarian Recipes: Red Lentil Curry (mild)

Red Lentil Curry
Red Lentil Curry

Next up on favorite vegetarian recipes is this mild version of a delicious Red Lentil Curry, procured from Since we don't have tolerance for spicy foods in our home, I've toned this recipe down, with optional elements noted for hotter flavor. It goes wonderfully with another soon-to-be-published favorite: Garbanzo Bean Stew with Spinach and Saffron.

Shopping for food

Shopping is the most important part of eating well. If you've read this section before, please skip on down to the Ingredients and Directions!

Where does your food come from? What has been done to it? Pesticides? Genetic manipulation? We're not having it!

But we do have a budget. Therefore, we shop at four places:

  • Costco for dry goods and assorted organic non-GMO items that are now available - they have organic cheese and a great growing selection of items
  • People's Food Coop in Ocean Beach, which has delicious foods and wonderful selections, but can randomly pricey, so watch out. But, it's your best bet if you're trusting a company to provide ethically procured and relatively safe food.
  • Jimbos, which is sketchy in terms of food provenance (they carry naughty brands) but it's okay if you know your safe food suppliers.
  • Vons, which now has an expanding organic and non-GMO section, and carries important foods like tomatoes, avocados, berries and potatoes.

These are all California chains - you may need to do some research in your area. Be vociferous about what you want - organic, non-genetically engineered food. Ask for more organic and non-GMO options, and tell your friends and family to ask. The squeaky wheel gets the oil! Create the market if it doesn't already exist. Educate yourself on the kinds of engineering you don't want in your food.


2 cups red lentils
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable (olive) oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
A dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
1 can of tomato paste
1 cup of water

Optionally, for more heat for the spicy food lovers:
[add 2 tablespoons curry paste]
[1 tablespoon curry powder instead of a teaspoon]
[1 teaspoon chilli powder instead of dash of cayenne]
[1 teaspoon cumin instead of ΒΌ teaspoon]
[14.25 oz can puree tomato with no water, instead of tomato paste with water)


1. Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear. (This is essential, otherwise the lentils will get 'scummy'.)

2. Put the Lentils in a post with water. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender. Add more water if necessary.

3. While the lentils are cooking, add the oil to a large skillet or saucepan and carmelize the diced onions.

4. While the onions and lentils are cooking, combine the dry ingredients (curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt, sugar, garlic, ginger, and if you're using them, curry paste, chilli powder) in a mixing bowl. Mix well.

5. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.

6. Stir in the tomato paste with water (or the tomato puree) and reduce heat, allowing the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready.

7. When the lentils are tender, drain them briefly (they should have absorbed most of the water, but you don't want the curry to be too sloppy).

8. Mix the curry base into the lentils. Top with a cilantro garnish and serve!

Additional Information

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Weight Watchers Points Per Serving: 12

Calories per serving: @260

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