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.

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!

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These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. 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.

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

          • I didn’t realize that the link didn’t show up without text to link it to. Here it is: Theresa Vernon – Chronic Fatigue / Nutritional Balancing. I can forward more info if you’d like. I should really do a post on this soon. But I really need to pace myself with all of this.

          • 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 :-)).

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

  7. 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 :-).

  8. 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!!

  9. 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.)

  10. Mary Ellen says:

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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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