Curried Lentils in Tomato Sauce

For Cambria and anyone else up for an easy Indian dish: This is a great recipe, especially for using stuff on hand. But even for not using stuff on hand, it’s still a winner (almost surprisingly, I know, but try it).

Curried Lentils in Tomato Sauce

I hope this doesn't look like dog food to anyone . . .

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (2 inches long), peeled and finely grated
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (page 64; optional)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 jar (26 ounces) best-quality store-bought tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (20 ounces each) cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • Cooked basmati (or other long-grain white) rice, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and ginger; season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add spices; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Add tomato sauce, lentils, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and cilantro; season with salt.
  4. Serve lentil mixture with rice; garnish with more cilantro, if desired.

3 thoughts on “Curried Lentils in Tomato Sauce

  1. Kristen says:

    I made this yesterday with what I had on hand . . . which meant I had to substitute parsely for cilantro, black pepper for cayenne, lemon juice for lime juice, and ground ginger for fresh. It was still very good, but I bet it’s even better with the right ingredients!


  2. CambriaW says:

    If you like this recipe (and you will), you’ll also like Martha’s East Indian Stew. I made that last night and it was amazing! there is a link right off of the curried lentils recipe.


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