Coconut Curried Lentil Bowl


I love curry.

Fragrant and spicy, every time I have a bowl of curry it  brings back wonderful food memories.

I’ve been fortunate to travel a good deal in my life–a lot of it in India. I’ve eaten curries in Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Srinagar, Trichy and on and on–in fancy restaurants, in hole-in-the-wall establishments, and on an exquisite houseboat moored in Dal Lake.

Probably–no certainly– my favorite memory of curry was the bowl we had in the run-down Bagdogra air terminal in Siliguri, India.

We were at the end of a visit to Darjeeling’s tea plantations and Sikkim’s exotic temples and poised to fly on to the craziness that is Kolkata . But, alas, our flight out of West Bengal was delayed by torrential rains. Bummer. After an interminable wait in Bogdogra’s  no-frills terminal (trust me!), we were given a chit for a free meal in the airport’s cafeteria.

Served thali style with rice and lemon pickle and on a table covered by a piece of tatty oil cloth. the curry we were served soared– absolutely soared! (The lemon pickle was to die for, too.)

Here is a photo of the Bagdogra Airport. Somewhere inside that modest airport is an extraordinary chef!


I’m posting an excellent lentil curry recipe.

The original recipe appeared on the Foodess food blog and a link to the original recipe appears at the end of this post.

Yields 6 Servings

Coconut Curried Lentil Bowl

20 minPrep Time

60 minCook Time

1 hr, 20 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 C. dried red lentils
  • 1/4 C. vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 T. finely grated ginger (packed)
  • 2 t. mustard seeds
  • 1 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. cayenne
  • 2 C. diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 Fourteen oz. can coconut milk
  • 1/2 C shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 2 T. finely chopped cilantro
  • Chopped red onion, chopped fresh tomatoes, diced avocado and chopped peanuts for garnish


  1. Rinse red lentils and bring to a boil in a large pot of water. Once water boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until lentils are fully tender. This will take 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. While lentils are cooking, heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add chopped onion to the hot oil and cook until the onions are soft and golden. This will take about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir garlic and ginger into onion/oil mixture. Cook for one minute. Add mustard seeds, turmeric and cayenne. Cook for about two minutes. Add tomatoes, cooked lentils, shredded unsweetened coconut and coconut milk. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are finished cooking.
  4. Season with salt. Stir in cilantro.
  5. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts, cilantro, chopped red onions, diced avocado, and chopped tomatoes.
Cuisine: Indian | Recipe Type: Lentil Curry


Here is the link to the original Foodess recipe from which this recipe was adapted:!






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