Easy everyday lentil curry

Easy everyday lentil curry

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

The lentil curry I eat more than any other. You won’t find it on restaurant menus – it is lighter and thinner than the familiar versions – but you can taste the lentils and all the other flavours. I eat it with Indian flatbread and a simple, dry vegetable dish. You can also fry the onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes in oil instead of adding them straight to the lentils, but I like it this way.


Quantity Ingredient
125g yellow lentils, washed well
75g red lentils, washed well
1/2 onion, finely chopped
10g root ginger, finely chopped, (peeled weight)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2-4 green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt, to taste
1 1/2-2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
2 rounded teaspoons cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon asafoetida
or a small pinch asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
handful coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Place both types of lentil in a bowl and wash in several changes of water, until the water runs clear. Now place them in a large saucepan with water to cover by 5 cm and bring to the boil. Skim the surface of any scum. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chillies, tomatoes, turmeric and seasoning. Return to the boil, reduce the heat, then simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are cooked and the curry starts to look homogeneous, around 40 minutes.
  2. Heat the ghee or butter in a very small saucepan and allow it to pool on one side. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the seeds darken, add the garam masala and ground coriander and take off the heat. Pour into the lentils, add the chopped coriander and serve.
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