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Red Lentil Curry

Makes 6 1/2-cup servings

This curry is made with small, brightly-colored lentils called masoor dal that are sold in natural food stores, ethnic markets, and some supermarkets. They are ideal for quick meals as they cook in just 20 minutes. If you are not able to locate these lentils, yellow split peas may be substituted in this recipe.

1 cup dry red lentils
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Rinse lentils and place in a pot with salt and boiling water. Cover loosely and simmer until completely tender, 15 to 20 minutes (45 minutes if using yellow split peas), and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil and add mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and cayenne. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1 minute. Be careful not to inhale the fumes, as these can be irritating.

Remove skillet from heat and add cooked lentils slowly and carefully to keep them from splattering. Return skillet to heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until lentils are the consistency of refried beans, about 15 minutes.

Per 1/2-cup serving

  • Calories: 127
  • Fat: 2.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Calories from Fat: 20.6%
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Protein: 8.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.2 g
  • Sugar: 0.4 g
  • Fiber: 5.3 g
  • Sodium: 199 mg
  • Calcium: 22 mg
  • Iron: 3.2 mg
  • Vitamin C: 1.6 mg
  • Beta Carotene: 14 mcg
  • Vitamin E: 0.5 mg

Source: Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.