Satisfy Your Cravings with Spicy Lentils and Rice

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m excited to share with you my recipe for Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice. This dish is perfect for those who are looking for a hearty, healthy, and flavorful meal that’s easy to make. If you’re a fan of lentils, then this recipe is definitely for you.

Lentils are one of my favorite ingredients to cook with because they are packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. When combined with rice and a blend of spices, they create a dish that’s not only delicious but also satisfying.

Not only is this recipe great for vegetarians and vegans, but it’s also perfect for anyone who wants to add more plant-based meals to their diet. Plus, it’s a budget-friendly option that won’t break the bank.

So, whether you’re already a fan of lentils or you’re looking for a new recipe to try, I’m confident that you’ll love this Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice dish. So, let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice
Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice

Are you looking for a healthy, flavorful and satisfying meal that won’t break the bank? Look no further than this Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice Recipe! This recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to add more plant-based meals to their diet without sacrificing flavor or satiety.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can use any type of lentils you have on hand – green, brown, or even red lentils – and it will still turn out delicious. Plus, you don’t need any fancy equipment to make it – just a pot, a few basic ingredients, and some spices.

The combination of lentils and rice also makes this dish a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. The addition of vegetables like diced tomatoes, onions, and garlic also adds a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals to the dish.

But the real star of this recipe is the spice blend. The curry powder, cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger create a warm, aromatic flavor that will make your taste buds dance. And if you like things really spicy, you can always add more cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.

Finally, this recipe is incredibly budget-friendly. Lentils and rice are both affordable pantry staples, and you can easily substitute any vegetables you have on hand. Plus, it makes a large batch that is perfect for meal prepping or feeding a crowd.

In short, this Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice Recipe is healthy, satisfying, flavorful, versatile, and budget-friendly – what’s not to love?

Ingredient List

 A bowl of comfort: Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice
A bowl of comfort: Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this spicy curried lentils and rice recipe:

For the rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice (or long grain rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the lentils:

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 4 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the curry:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 can of diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Make sure you have all the ingredients before starting the recipe.

The Recipe How-To


  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Rinse and soak the lentils – Place the lentils in a large bowl and cover them with water. Let the lentils soak for at least an hour, or overnight. Rinse them before cooking.

  2. Cook the rice – In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Cook the rice for 18-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

  3. Heat the oil – In a pot over medium-high heat, add the canola oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent. Add in the minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Add the curry powder and lentils – Add the curry powder to the pot and stir. Drain the lentils and add them to the pot with 2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

  5. Combine the rice and lentils – Once the lentils are cooked, add the cooked rice to the pot and stir to combine.

  6. Adjust the seasoning – Taste the lentils and rice and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add salt to taste.

  7. Garnish and serve – Serve the spicy curried lentils and rice hot, garnished with chopped cilantro and a side of chutney.

Instant Pot Lentil Curry:

  • Follow steps 1-3 above
  • Add 1 cup of rinsed and drained red lentils, 1 diced tomato, and 1 can of coconut milk to the Instant Pot.
  • Add the cooked onion, garlic, and ginger mixture, curry powder, and salt to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release for 10 minutes before opening the lid.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Slow Cooker Lentil Dal Recipe:

  • Follow step 1 above
  • In a slow cooker, add the soaked lentils, 2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 diced sweet potato, 1 diced onion, 2 diced cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, and salt to taste.
  • Cover and

Substitutions and Variations

 Warm up your soul with this flavorful dish
Warm up your soul with this flavorful dish

One of the best things about cooking is the freedom and creativity to modify recipes to fit your taste and dietary preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider when making Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice Recipe:

– Rice: Feel free to use any type of rice you have on hand, such as basmati, long-grain, or brown rice. Brown rice is a great option for a healthier twist, but will require a longer cooking time.

– Lentils: You can use any variety of lentils, such as brown, green, or red lentils. Each type has a slightly different texture and flavor, so choose based on your preference. If you’re in a hurry, red lentils cook faster than brown or green lentils.

– Vegetables: You can add any vegetables you like to this dish, such as diced sweet potatoes, spinach, or diced tomatoes. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

– Spice level: Adjust the amount of curry powder or cumin seeds used in this recipe based on your preference for spice. If you like it extra spicy, you can add some red pepper flakes or fresh chili peppers.

– Broth: You can use vegetable broth, chicken broth, or beef broth in this recipe, depending on your preference and dietary restrictions.

– Coconut oil: If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use olive oil or canola oil instead.

– Instant Pot or slow cooker: To save time, you can cook the lentils and rice in an Instant Pot or slow cooker. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking times and liquid ratios.

With these substitutions and variations, you can make Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice Recipe your own and tailor it to your taste preferences. Experiment with different combinations and have fun in the kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

 Perfectly spiced lentils paired with fluffy rice
Perfectly spiced lentils paired with fluffy rice

This spicy curried lentils and rice dish is a complete meal in itself, but you can take it up a notch by pairing it with some complementary sides. Some of my favorite ways to serve this dish are:

– With a dollop of mango chutney on top: The sweet and tangy flavor of mango chutney is the perfect contrast to the spiciness of the curry. It adds a burst of flavor and freshness to every bite.

– Garnished with fresh cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a touch of brightness to the dish and balances out the warm spices. It also makes the dish look more vibrant and appetizing.

– Alongside a side salad: A simple side salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes dressed with a lemon vinaigrette is a refreshing accompaniment to the spicy curried lentils and rice. The salad provides a cool contrast to the warm curry, and the vinaigrette adds a zesty tang.

– With some garlic naan or pita bread: Soft and fluffy garlic naan or warm pita bread are perfect for scooping up the lentils and rice. The bread also serves as a neutralizer to the spicy curry.

– Paired with a cold beer or a glass of white wine: A cold beer with a citrusy note, such as an IPA or a witbier, is an excellent pairing for the spicy curried lentils and rice. Alternatively, a glass of white wine with a crisp and fruity flavor, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling, complements the dish’s spiciness.

These serving and pairing suggestions will elevate your dining experience and make the spicy curried lentils and rice dish even more enjoyable.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

This recipe for Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice is a great dish to make ahead of time, especially if you’re planning on serving it for a weeknight dinner or for a meal prep. To make it ahead, simply cook the lentils and rice as directed and store them separately in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

When you’re ready to serve, reheat the lentils and rice in the microwave or on the stovetop. If the lentils seem a bit dry, you can add a splash of water or broth to loosen them up.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, you may need to add a bit of water or broth to loosen the lentils and rice as they tend to thicken up when stored.

This dish also freezes well. Simply freeze the cooked lentils and rice in separate containers for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as directed above.

One thing to note is that the cilantro garnish may not hold up well when stored or reheated. If you’re planning on making this dish ahead of time or storing leftovers, you may want to skip the cilantro and instead serve with a dollop of chutney on top.

Overall, this Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice recipe is a great option for meal prep and make-ahead meals. With a little bit of planning, you can have a delicious and healthy meal ready to go whenever you need it.

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to making spicy curried lentils and rice, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve perfect results every time. Here are some of my top tips for making the best lentil curry rice:

1. Soak the lentils: Soaking the lentils before cooking can help to reduce cooking time and improve their texture. For best results, soak the lentils for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Use the right rice: For this recipe, I recommend using basmati rice or long grain rice. These varieties of rice have a nice texture and will complement the flavors of the spicy curried lentils.

3. Add enough liquid: When cooking the lentils and rice together, be sure to add enough liquid to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. I recommend using a combination of water and vegetable broth for best flavor.

4. Don’t overcook the lentils: Overcooking the lentils can result in a mushy texture. Be sure to check the lentils frequently while cooking and remove them from the heat as soon as they are tender.

5. Use fresh ingredients: To get the best flavor from this dish, be sure to use fresh ingredients, including garlic, ginger, onions, and cilantro. Using fresh ingredients will give your lentil curry rice a bright, vibrant flavor that can’t be matched by dried or canned alternatives.

6. Adjust the spice level: This recipe calls for curry powder, which can vary in spiciness depending on the brand. If you prefer a milder dish, use less curry powder, or if you like it spicy, add more.

7. Let the flavors meld: Like many curries, this lentil curry rice tastes even better the next day. If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge and reheat them the next day for a delicious, flavorful meal.

By following these tips, you can make a delicious, healthy, and flavorful lentil curry rice that will impress your family and friends.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice Recipe is a delicious and healthy meal that will surely satisfy your palate. With the perfect combination of lentils, rice, and spices, this dish is a great option for those who want to try something new and flavorful. You can easily customize it to your liking by adding or substituting ingredients, making it a versatile and flexible recipe.

Moreover, this recipe is easy to prepare, and you don’t need any fancy equipment to make it. You can cook it on the stovetop, in an instant pot, or even in a slow cooker. It is a perfect option for busy weeknights, meal prep, or even for entertaining guests.

Lastly, this recipe is not only delicious but also healthy. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, and iron, and rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates. By combining them in this recipe, you get a balanced and nutritious meal that will keep you full and satisfied for hours.

So, don’t hesitate to try this Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice Recipe today. It is a perfect option for those who want to spice up their meals and enjoy a healthy and delicious dish. I hope you enjoy making and savoring this dish as much as I do.

Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice

Spicy Curried Lentils and Rice Recipe

A spicy and adaptable recipe by Jill Nussinow, "The Veggie Queen" ( You can add other vegetables like potatoes at the beginning or chopped spinach at the end. Wrap it up in a multigrain tortilla and enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or a snack!!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Calories 345.4 kcal


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil or 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small hot pepper, finely minced
  • 1 cup brown lentils or 1 cup green lentil, soaked, rinsed, and drained
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice or 1/2 cup other long grain rice
  • 3 cups water or 3 cups broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 3 -4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • hot sauce or chutney, to taste


  • Pour the oil into a medium or large saucepan with a lid over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and pepper. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Cook until onion begins to slightly soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add lentils, rice, curry powder, and water. Stir well.
  • Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, add peas to pot, replace cover and let sit undisturbed for 5 more minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and salt and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a serving plate. Top with cilantro. Serve immediately.



Serving: 403gCalories: 345.4kcalCarbohydrates: 61.2gProtein: 17.6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 343.5mgFiber: 19.3gSugar: 7.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Beans, Beginner Cook, Curries, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Healthy, Indian, Inexpensive, Lactose-free, Lentils, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, One-Dish Meal, Onions, Rice, Spicy, Stove Top, Thai, Vegan, Vegetable, Weeknight
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