Lentil Curry Recipe (Stove or Instant Pot)

This easy lentil curry made with curry powder, garam masala, and other spices is perfect over white rice or cauliflower rice as a vegetarian main dish or as a side with coconut chicken curry.
PREP TIME:10minutes 
COOK TIME:30minutes 
TOTAL TIME:40minutes 
YIELD: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, main dish, Side Dish


  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 Roma (plum tomatoes, diced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • chopped fresh cilantro leaves (for garnish)
  • fresh lime wedges (for serving)


Instant Pot Method:

  • Select the Sauté setting on your Instant Pot or multicooker.
  • Place the cumin seeds in the inner pot and toast until fragrant and browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, garam masala, curry powder, coriander, salt, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the lentils plus 4 cups water.
  • Seal the pot and pressure-cook for 20 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally.

Stove Method:

  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Place the cumin seeds in the pot and toast until fragrant and browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic,
  • garam masala, curry powder, coriander, salt, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the lentils plus 4 cups water. Bring to a boil then cook covered on low, 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and cooked.

To Serve

  • Serve the lentils over the rice or cauliflower rice, topped with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.


Store any left- overs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month. The curry is even more delicious the next day!


Serving: 11/3 cupsCalories: 216kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 13gFat: 1gSodium: 294mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7g
– W–W Points: 0
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