One Kind of Lentil Curry 19.01.2009

This is the easiest lentil curry in the world. It works very well with red lentils or yellow split peas as well. Just adjust the cooking time.


  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 or more cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds


Put the lentils with enough water to cover them in a wide pan. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the lentils are done. This takes about 20 minutes with brown lentils; less with red ones or split peas. Check the water a couple of times and top up if needed, but keep the result moist rather than watery.

If using salt, stir it through once the lentils are cooked.

Have the spices to hand, as the next bit goes quickly. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the cinnamon and curry leaves. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the leaves start to sizzle. Add garlic and stir until it becomes aromatic. Add the mustard seeds and cumin together, and stir. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, pour the contents of the frying pan into the lentils and put the lid on quickly. Leave it closed for at least 5 minutes (or hours). Stir the oil and spices through the lentils before serving.

File under vegetarian

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Comments on One Kind of Lentil Curry

Sophie Cunningham on 19 January 2009:

I have eaten this and can testify to its awesomeness.

Huw on 26 January 2009:

If you have some spare zucchini or something similar, you can add it to the spices, with a little bit of water. Cover and cook for a few minutes, then tip it all into the lentils.

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