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Red Lentil Curry

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Red lentil curry is an Indian-inspired recipe that's made with lentils, sweet potatoes, a creamy sauce and authentic Indian spices - it's hearty, spicy and vegan!

This blog post is sponsored by Imagine® Foods, although the content represents my own personal opinion/experience. 🙂

Red lentils are an underdog ingredient. You don’t see them often in recipes, yet they are such a great inexpensive, healthy and delicious plant-based protein. This Red Lentil Curry recipe celebrates our humble red lentils as the star of the dish, cooked in a creamy tomato based soup with sweet potatoes and aromatic Indian spices. If you’re never tried a curry recipe before, this one is a great one to start with!

Two plates of red lentil curry over rice with cilantro shown next to the Imagine carton of Creamy Reds Soup

I know there are traditional methods of cooking curry, and this is not supposed to be that. Instead, it’s a modern take on the Indian inspired recipe with shortcuts and easy swaps. One of those shortcuts that makes the recipe faster without compromising on flavor is using Imagine Creamy Super Reds Soup.

It’s made with beets, sweet potatoes, red lentils and coconut cream, and flavored with garlic, ginger and spices. So, it’s a great shortcut to flavoring the red lentil curry without adding a few additional ingredients to the recipe.  Like all Imagine products, the Creamy Super Reds Soup contains non-GMO ingredients, no added MSG and unique, nutrient-packed ingredients. This is what it truly means to be ingredient proud.

It leaves the curry having a rich homemade taste that’s full of vitamins and nutrition!

How do you make red lentil curry

You won’t believe how easy this recipe is after you taste the complexity in the flavors! But essentially you’ll want to start by sauteing some onions and garlic with oil. Then add red curry paste, curry powder, turmeric powder and cumin. Here, you can also add some other Indian spices like garam masala, coriander, ginger and cardamom. But I try keeping it simple to staple spices most of us have.

Next, add the washed red lentils and sweet potatoes.

Collage showing onions and spices, then sweet potatoes and red lentils being added

Finally, add the Imagine Creamy Super Reds Soup to the mixture. This is basically like a combination of pureed tomatoes (or other red vegetables) along with coconut cream and spices. It lends the curry a ton of flavor while also making it hearty and creamy.

Collage showing the Imagine Creamy Reds soup being added to the curry mixture

Now you’ll want to add 1-2 cups of water, and allow the lentils and sweet potatoes to cook in that luscious delicious curry you just made.

Large saucepan showing the curry when all the ingredients are mixed

The red lentil curry will continue to get thicker as it cooks and as it cools. So you can add more water to get your the desired consistency you like. I found that 2 cups of water plus the 4 cups of Imagine soup was the perfect amount.

Serve the curry with white or brown rice for the ultimate comforting meal. And finish it off with some fresh cilantro to balance the hearty and warm flavors of the dish.

Final red lentil curry after cooking

Tips for making red lentil curry

  • Rinse the red lentils before cooking. The main reason you’ll want to do this is to remove debris or shrivelled lentils. You can soak them in water if you’d like, which will decrease their cooking time. But I don’t think this step is necessary, especially since I throw them in the pan with sweet potatoes to cook together.
  • Cook the spices before adding the vegetables. You can cook the spices alone with the oil or with the onions and garlic. This allows them to release their full flavor so you can get the most out of the spices. If they simple simmer with the vegetables, they won’t have the same effect.
  • Customize it with any vegetables or protein. There’s a good serving of protein in the vegetarian curry dish. But if you want to add beef or chicken or fish, you can add it when the sweet potatoes go in. You can also bulk this up with any other vegetables like carrots, cauliflower or peas.
  • Go heavy on the spices. Curries are heavily spiced dishes. The curry gets all the flavor from the combination of warm smokey spices, so start with my guide below, but feel free to add more. And feel free to tweak it with what you have on hand along with adding some chiles for a more spicy curry. My version is definitely not spicy.
Close up shot of the final recipe plated on a white dish

The wonderful thing about curry is that there’s really no one recipe that rules. It’s about the cooking method of layering the spices with the vegetables, protein and the thickening “agent” – which in our case is the Imagine soup. It not only brings all the flavors together, but also adds in extra protein, organic vegetable servings, vitamins and a creamy consistency.

Two plates of red lentil curry over rice with cilantro

This is a rich and hearty red lentil curry that is similar to a traditional Indian dhal recipe. Don’t be intimidated by the idea that curry needs to take a long time or have a long list of complicated ingredients. You can actually whip this up in 30 minutes and have an impressive vegan meal the whole family will love.

This is such a versatile recipe, so you can vary the taste, vary the heat and vary the ingredients as you like. Serve it over rice or eat it with naan. It’s definitely a keeper!

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Red Lentil Curry recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

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5 from 1 vote
Close up shot of the final recipe plated on a white dish
Red Lentil Curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Red lentil curry is an Indian-inspired recipe that's made with lentils, sweet potatoes, a creamy sauce and authentic Indian spices - it's hearty, spicy and vegan!

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Curry, diary-free, plant-based, Vegan
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 262 kcal
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 2 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups Imagine Super Reds Creamy Soup
  1. Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear and set aside
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin and salt and mix together until the onions are well coated and fragrant.
  3. Add the red lentils, sweet potatoes, Imagine Soup and 2 cups of water. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, allowing the sweet potatoes to cook and the red lentils to thicken thicken.

  4. Serve with fresh cilantro over white rice, if desired.
Recipe Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.

Freezing Instructions: This curry freezes really well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Sourcing: I kept the spices pretty standard, so you can find them wherever you generally buy spices.

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.

  • Instead of red lentils, you can use green lentils. Red lentils are typically used in Indian cuisine since they break down more easily than green lentils and are great for thickening curry.
  • Feel free to skip some spices or add other popular Indian spices like garam masala, ginger or cardamom. 
  • If you don't want to use sweet potatoes, you can use white potatoes or add other vegetables like peas, carrots or cauliflower.
  • If you can't find the Creamy Reds soup, you can substitute 1 15 ounce canned coconut cream and 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes. You may need to adjust the seasoning as well.

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving without the rice.

This blog post is sponsored by Imagine® Foods, although the content represents my own personal opinion/experience. 🙂

Nutrition Facts
Red Lentil Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Sodium 553mg 23%
Potassium 522mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 40g 13%
Dietary Fiber 14g 56%
Sugars 5g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 80.9%
Vitamin C 4.6%
Calcium 5.2%
Iron 25.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


1 Comment

  • Reply
    March 26, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Has never had red lentils. Yet, when I took a look at some of the ingredients, I immediately went for this rich homemade recipe.
    Glad I did

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