Indian Red Lentils

This lentil recipe is ready in a flash - in as little as 9 minutes! When you don't know what's for dinner, this lentil curry bean dish is a great healthy standby that is a great kid-friendly meal as well.

Our family loves curry. Anything curry.  In fact, though we like experimenting with cuisine from all cultures, I would say that Indian is one of our favorites.

Now, before I go on, let me say that this lentil recipe isn’t really curry – so don’t run away if you are not a curry fan.

And soon I hope to post a dish that DOES feature curry seasoning.  And it is for sure my most requested recipe EVER.

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Most Indian food, however, can be quite time consuming.  So when I can get the taste of Indian spices in a fast, one pot meal, then I have the best of both worlds.  ‘Cause these days, who has a lot of time to spend in the kitchen on elaborate steps?  I have other things that need to be done.  Like photo albums (please don’t ask how many years behind I am.  I need to start a support group for moms with empty photo albums :-).)

This recipe is adapted from a dish simply called “Red Lentils” by Southern Living.

Blah name for a great dish.

It’s quick on its own, but really lickety-split in my pressure cooker.  If you don’t have one of these yet, put it on your Christmas list now.  I know, I should get better at planning meals, but it sure is nice to not have any idea what you are going to have for dinner at 5:30 and have dinner on the table at 6:15.

9 minutes in the pressure cooker.


Mom is happy and my family is happy too because they aren’t having popcorn and hard boiled eggs again because mom forgot to plan :-).  (Did I mention that we never eat out and we don’t buy processed foods :-)?)

Voila!  Wonderful, fast, savory Indian cuisine in no time!

A Few Tips:

This dish tastes great served over rice (which, by the way, I can cook in 20 minutes flat in my pressure cooker.  Woo-hoo!)  I always use brown rice due to its higher nutritive qualities.

My Chat Masala spice mix tastes great on this.  We have this on our table at all times and put it on everything. Except – ahem – desserts :-).

Next time I plan to add seasoned chicken pieces to this dish.  Specifically, I think that sauteing small chunks of chicken in coconut oil and my Homemade All-Purpose Seasoning would be a wonderful addition.


Like curry dishes?  See my recipe for Sweet Curry Powder – DIY – it is real winner and great money saver!

For some other great family favorite meal ideas, check out:

Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Pakistani Curry – my most requested recipe
Super Savory Hummus
Fast & Yummy Bean Dip
GF Chili Mac (and other super fast meals)

Do you have a favorite go-to dish when you forgot to plan dinner?

Please share for all of us sometimes-scattered moms!

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer here.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. This looks yummy. I printed it to try on a Meatless Monday. We’re not huge fans of curry, but we eat it sometimes. :-)

  2. Looks GREAT! Did you take that picture?

  3. Would you recommend adding your Chat Masala as a seasoning?

  4. only nine minutes in a pressure cooker? WOW. you are supermom. i need to bookmark all of these quick awesome recipes!

  5. DH has been really wanting to try Indian food but I’ve held back from making it for him. I’ve tried it and I already know I don’t like it. Curry is one of those things I wish I did like, though, because I feel like I’m missing out on something good.

    • I’d give these a run, despite what you think about Indian food. These weren’t called “Indian” originally, I just think that the turmeric and the cumin adds that flavor. Perhaps some curries just don’t sit well with you. I have a really nice dish with a mild curry that I take to new moms when they have a baby and it has NEVER failed. Every single person whom I have taken it to has asked for the recipe. Let me know if you try!

  6. yum! just pinned these… i need to make these soon.

  7. Looks wonderful, I can’t wait to try it. I don’t have a pressure cooker yet… Maybe for Christmas along with a dehydrator. :)

    • Hi Shelley! I hope you noticed that you can make these on the stovetop as well! If you soak the lentils overnight the cooking will go more quickly too.

  8. I’ve been wanting a pressure cooker. Hopefully I will get one someday. This dish looks soooo good. We love Indian food so much. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. This is the second recipe today I’ve stumbled upon that employs a pressure cooker! Although I don’t have one, I still think I have to try this. I love Indian food!

  10. I love lentils, and your recipe just looks amazing. I want to try it over brown rice too.

  11. Lovely – one of my favorite things to eat is lentils. Beautiful photos!!


  12. Not a huge fan of curry, but it looks good! I love my pressure cookers…yes I have 4 I think. And, yes, I use every single one of them!

    Around My Family Table

    • I have three :-). I am going to test a new brand soon and do a review on my blog. See you around!

      • Are there pressure cookers that aren’t made of aluminum? I’ve stopped cooking in aluminum since learning of it’s contribution to ALzheimer’s, but I love the idea of reducing cooking time (especially with rice!)

        • Bridget, I have Kuhn Rikon ccokers and love them. Here is a link to the Kuhn Rikon ecomatic which is their less expensive version. They are stainless steel :-). And I agree w/ you on the aluminum situation. What I have heard is the research shows the issues is aluminum going through the nose. My father in law (who is a chemist) thinks the issue might also be fluoride in drinking water that adheres to aluminum and then goes to the brain. It don’t know what it is but I am getting metal detox now and there is a lot of aluminum coming out. Let me know if you have more questions :-).

  13. Oh my goodness gracious…this looks amazing!

  14. Thanks for sharing–Will definitely use this recipe. Lentils are such a great, economical base for a meal! Thanks for reminding me to use those lentils in my cupboard!

  15. I have two giant pressure cookers, despite the fact that the WAPF is opposed to them. I have ten kids and could never get beans, rice and other long cooking foods without them! I have also thrown frozen meat, veggies and wine in there and let ‘er rock. It works for me. This recipe looks great and is exactly what I was looking for, by the way. I stopped over from Fight Back Friday.

  16. Hi Adrienne,
    This bowl of goodness looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come back soon,
    Miz Helen

  17. Ok, first, the photo is incredible. Second, I cannot wait to try this! Thank you for linking up. I’ve made a curry lentil soup that I found on

  18. Okay, I think you’ve convinced me to get a pressure cooker! A nine-minute dinner sounds pretty good to me. And we LOVE curry over here, too. I’m am SO making this dish! Thanks for submitting to WW this week! :)

    • Hi Ricki!
      If you really decide to get one, let’s talk! I am really thrilled with Kuhn-Rikon, but will probably do a test run of Fissler soon. There will be a giveaway on my site, but not for the pressure cooker, I don’t think :-(.

  19. The picture looks good and I bet it taste good too. Visiting from Food trip friday.

  20. I wanted to let you know that I featured this yummy dish in my “What I Bookmarked Ths Week” post – stop by and see!

  21. This looks awesome, found you via allergy friendly friday! We can’t get enough of lentils in our house, I usually just use red lentils when I make stuffed peppers, I should buy a bigger batch next time, though. :)

  22. I love this delicious and nutritious one pot! And what great spices! Thank you for sharing it with our first Gallery of Favorites.

  23. This looks great! I am always a little worried about curry becuase I my family can’t do spicy food but we do love lentils so maybe I’ll give this one a shot. Thanks!

    • Hi Roxanne. This is completely not spicy. My little one will almost never eat spicy food. Stay tuned….I’ll have another great curry recipe soon that isn’t spicy and hopefully a sweet curry spice mix too. Thanks for visiting!

  24. My mom cooked this once. I love to taste this again. It is not really this kind but I think seems similar to the one she did last year. She loves trying to cook new meals.

  25. sounds really great, we love curries too! thanks for sharing your recipe and yes, like you i am ages behind with our photo albums…reminds me that i need to do those things too! :) visiting late from FTF, hope you can visit me back! thanks and have a great week!

  26. This looks great! We eat a lot of lentils…and we love curry, so this sounds like a winner! :-) Not to mention I LOVE that it is so simple and quick. Always a good thing for busy moms.

    I’m going to try this one really soon. Thanks for sharing!

  27. My kids love lentils and I all ready have most of these ingredients in the house. This may go with dinner tonight. Thanks!

  28. Pressure cookers are the bomb. The last few times my mom visited me from India – I made her get me a different size pressure cooker.. I have 4 now! This dish is one of my favorites. In India you typically have it as a side.. but when I make it – it really becomes the main – we love it that much! Thanks for sharing this at Sugar Free Sunday *and* spreading the curry love. :)

  29. I love lentils and my pressure cooker, but have never cooked lentils in my pressure cooker. Time to rectify that oversite! Thanks for sharing your recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  30. Love this! Just migh have to make this for dinner tonight :), Miriam@Meatless Meal For Meat Eaters

  31. This is a great recipe idea! Thanks for the information on de-gassing beans, too! I don’t usually do lentils, but I like them in Indian dishes. Since lentils don’t need as much prep work, I might be experimenting with them more in the future!

  32. We love lentils at our house! Can’t wait to try this version. Thanks for posting!

  33. I really need to give lentils a try. I think my boys would really like them.

    Thanks for stopping by and linking up this meal time solution! I am going to share it on Facebook.

  34. I love lentils. Thanks for this great recipe and for sharing it at Cast Party Wednesday.
    See you next week!

  35. This sounds similar to a recipe for Lentil Dal that my family loves. We found that we can add 1 cup of grated carrots to it and it’s even tastier, as well as having more vitamins and fiber!

    All lentil lovers have to try Honey Baked Lentils! This amazing recipe does take an hour to bake, but it’s great for busy days because the prep time is very short (then it just bakes by itself–there’s a way to make it in a slow-cooker if you prefer) and it uses all shelf-stable ingredients that you can keep on hand.

    • I would be very interested in your recipe if you have it (the Dal one). I have not yet sorted out exactly what Dal means, but this for sure is close if not a “dal” itself. Thanks for stopping by.

  36. Me too, I have also thrown frozen meat, veggies and wine in there and let ‘er rock. It works for me. This recipe looks great and is exactly what I was looking for, by the way.

  37. YUM! This sounds so delicious. I love Indian food too, but haven’t really tried cooking it myself. I think you may have just introduced me to a new cuisine … :)

  38. Looks fantastic. Love the print option. Thank you.

  39. OMG this recipe looks delish… please share on my site

  40. We just finished eating this for lunch – WOW! IT WAS AWESOME! I used palm oil for sauteing the onion and garlic; fresh tomatoes; I didn’t have tumeric, so I used cayenne pepper and ginger; I also added chicken. My (picky eaters) children devoured it!

  41. This looks really good…. I love lentils, but not a big fan of curry. I love using coconut oil for dishes like this. It gives it the extra flavor I love.

  42. Hi, visiting from Ultimate Recipe Swap. This looks and sounds wonderful. Going to go dig out my lentils now. Thanks

  43. We loved this and used Quinoa instead of rice. Oh So yummy.

    • So glad to hear it – any grain will work! I just made a new seasoned millet that I will share when it’s perfected – that would be great as well!

  44. I love Indian flavors too, and these look really good! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with Sunday Night Soup Night. I’ll be hosting weekly through fall and winter, so I’d love to see you again with your next soup/stock/chowder recipe!

  45. I think I’m in love. With this recipe. With this blog. With you for providing such helpful detail! I’m on a newly, heavily restricted diet, so it is a real relief to find you!

    • Thanks for your kind words! What are your new restrictions? I saw your blog and didn’t see any restrictions mentioned so I was wondering what your dietary needs are.

      • Oh, gosh. It’s easier to tell you what I CAN eat. Good quality protein (eggs, legumes, bison, lamb, fish, chicken, turkey – free range, organic, etc), low-glycemic fruits and vegetables with some exceptions, and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil). No dairy, no grains, no sugar, nothing fermented, no nightshade vegetables, nothing processed, ideally nothing frozen or canned… the list goes on and on.

        • I know how you feel. With the exception of the grains and nightshades and the frozen foods, we are in the same boat. What kind of professional diagnosed you with this? And would you mind sharing the reason for the frozen foods being not allowed? I assume nuts and seeds are OK, right? Have you been using stevia?

          • It’s part of a detox/cleanse regime. Some, but not all, of these foods will come back, such as grains, but likely excluding gluten. The idea behind not using frozen foods (and also not using canned foods) has to do with food becoming depleted of its ‘life force’ when frozen or canned. I’m not supposed to eat leftovers either! (Can’t quite manage that with kids!) The doc is a medical doc trained in Eastern medicine as well, mainly Ayurveda. Nuts and seeds are okay. I can use stevia. Eventually honey will likely be okay in small amounts. I have used agave nectar and brown rice syrup in the past.

            • I see. I know this all is a path, but when you are feeling up to another option, check out this website. This is who I am working with. From what I can tell, very effective detox. You can, if you like, share on the comments, or send me an email, and let me know what you are struggling with. I am shocked in the difference in me in 10 months. (I get nothing from referrals. I am just hoping to help others).

          • Adrienne, do you mean THIS website, or were your referring to another web site? Thanks for offering to help. I really appreciate it.

          • Thanks Adrienne. I’ll take a look at the info on her site!

            • You’re welcome. The site doesn’t cover all I’d like to share, but it’s a starting point. She really is a sharp “cookie” (pun intended – from your site :-)).

  46. Forgot to mention, I found you through the Not Your Ordinary Recipes link up.

  47. This is on my stove right now and the apartment smells so good! I wouldn’t blame the neighbors if they invited themselves over for dinner.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by to share! I am so glad you enjoyed it! Wish I were there to come by. We had a thrown together dinner on a busy evening :-).

  48. I too just made it and I am eating it. The red lentils probably turn yellow because of the Tumeric. Tumeric turns everything yellow (grin). I love it. I love it even more with Chat Masala – the Adrienne Wonder Spice.

    • Thanks for the new name for the Chat Masala – I’ll be sharing that with my family today! Actually, the red lentils turn yellow no matter what. Not sure why. I tried to find out but my internet search isn’t turning up anything. Take care!!

  49. This is DELICIOUS! And it makes so much. Problem is, it’s only me eating it. Have you ever tried freezing it? Don’t think I can eat it fast enough, unless I eat it for every meal! Never tried to freeze a lentil dish. Would be great if I could freeze little 1/2 pint jars for lunches at work (like I do with soup.)

  50. Mary Ellen says:

    Because of different schedules everyone eats at different times. Can this be done in crock-pot?

  51. MomOfFour says:

    I only have green lentils in the house and need something quick? Can I use the green ones or will it taste weird? Thank you!

  52. I have been on the search for a good lentil recipe. I have bags of them but never know what to do with them! I know this is a lot to ask-but could you suggest an alternative to the tomatoes? I try to avoid nightshades as much as possible.

    • You could leave them out or just add some carrots or zucchini. Really, whatever veggie you like could work – enjoy! I have another good recipe I hope to share as well!

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