This dish is really more a spiced lentil stew than a lentil curry. There is absolutely no heat in this dish so it’s definitely kid friendly as it’s fragrant & warm rather than spicy. I usually make the curry the night before I’m going to serve it. I do this whilst making another dinner as all it needs is a good long simmer & the occasional top up of water. That way I have dinner for the next night done.

This recipe does make a lot of lentil curry but it keeps beautifully in the fridge and can be frozen!


  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tins drained lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 handful chopped coriander

Spice Mix:

  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 2 star anise


  1. For the spice mix, add the cardamom pod’s, cloves & cumin seeds to a hot, dry pan. Keep an eye so as not to burn. The spices need a matter of moments, 20 seconds or so to start releasing their fragrance. When the spices start to pop, remove them to a pestle & mortar & grind to a powder. Set aside
  2. Add some olive oil to a saucepan on a med-high heat. Add the onion & sweat until translucent
    Add the crushed garlic & ginger & fry until you smell the garlic
  3. Add the cinnamon & ground coriander along with the spice mix. The mixture will seem very dry & sticky, that’s perfect
  4. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes & the star anise
  5. Add the drained lentils
  6. Add about a cup of water & a tin of coconut milk.
  7. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat & simmer until reduced by half ( this will take at least an hour but give it more time if you can. The long, slow cooking really intensifies the flavours
  8. When the curry has reduced, season well, add a handful of chopped coriander & serve with rice, couscous or cauliflower rice (as I have here) & a dollop of plain yogurt