Coconut Green Curry Lentils


You guys, when it comes right down to it, I’m an OCD hypochondriac. I’m pretty sure I’m singlehandedly driving Web MD’s traffic right now.

In between stuffing my face with lentils, I’ve been known to do investigative work on Web Md and make extreme self-diagnoses. I also do this in between bites of sandwiches. And chocolate chip malt cookies. It’s ridiculous, and I know it’s ridiculous. I have a hard time not being ridiculous on this one. Because I definitely have at least 5 types of cancer.

Coconut Green Curry Lentils

This week, I read an article about inflammation and how processed foods have slowly been disease-ing my body for the last 20 some years.

And of course, I read it on the way to meet friends for greasy inflammatory appetizers. Of course.

My hypochondraic self panicked as I heard my other self ordering the waffle fries. Omega 6. Cancer. Heart disease. Certain death. But hot, salty, fried perfection! Stop, order, no, waaaait!


I thought I had already kinda done the lentil thing this month. What kind of person posts two recipes for lentils within a few days of each other? An OCD hypochondriac French fry lover looking for a second chance at life?  I think so.

In honor of my new quest for anti-inflammatory foods, and in honor of myself still planning to eat French fries until kingdom come, I’m so pumped to share with you this recipe. It’s a deeeelicious way to treat your body right. Kinda like fries, but not.

Hello saucy lentils, curry paste, a punch of spice, coconut creaminess, and fresh spinach.

Hello and nice to meet you, lentil lover.


4.7 from 12 reviews
Coconut Green Curry Lentils
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils, rinsed
  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 2½ cups water or vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup green curry paste
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
  • Greek yogurt for topping
  1. Place lentils, bulgur, 2 cups water, curry paste, and turmeric in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are mostly cooked. Add the remaining ½ cup water during cook time if lentils and bulgur have absorbed all the water. You want to cook it until there is no liquid remaining. Turn the heat to medium or low, if it's not already.
  2. Keeping the saucepan on the heat, stir in the tomato paste. Mixture should thicken slightly. Add butter, garlic, and garam masala; stir to combine until butter is melted. Add coconut milk and simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in ginger and spinach until barely wilted. You can also serve this with fresh spinach, adding it just before serving.
This can be vegan if you omit the butter and yogurt. Thanks to KitchenLab for inspiring this recipe!


Alright, speak out, friends. What’s your take on the anti-inflammatory stuff? And if you have any great anti-inflammatory recipe ideas, I’d love to hear them.

Cause all I’m seeing right now is LENILLLLLLLLS.

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  1. Love this! I am the biggest fan of green curry and your recipe is fabulous!

  2. Haha, I definitely have to step away from the medical internet sites because it just sends me into a spiral of all the things I should be doing but aren’t and then I just get overwhelmed and have to eat a cookie. Much better to just have a delicious bowl of lentils and feel virtuous without torturing myself!

  3. hey girl hayyy 😉 we’re on the same wavelength this morning with the green curry!! yours looks fabulous and something I’d love my mouth to have a few bites of!! yum! :)

  4. I wish I knew a way to block myself from googling medical issues. It always just results in me thinking I’m on the verge of death. And usually, it’s in the middle of the night so I get to freak out about it for the next 8 hours instead of sleeping.
    I know nothing about anti-inflammatory foods but I do know this looks dah-licious!

  5. Totally love it because ever since I tried your other recipe, I’m like – wow, I love lentils! I had no idea. So I’ve been pinning lentil recipes like crazy!!

    • They don’t seem all that lovable until you have some really good ones… and then you realize that they are SO yummy. :) Glad you’re catching lentil fever with me!

  6. My favorite anti-inflammatories:
    ~frozen cherries mixed with vanilla yogurt and topped with a tiny dash of cinnamon
    ~blueberry smoothies
    ~Advil, washed down with sweet red wine

  7. Mmmmm…lentils and curry go so well together. This looks perfect!

  8. OMG, I need this NOW! I try to eat lentils on a regular basis…this recipe would make that easier!

  9. Oh my heavens, this looks incredible! I have no issue with multiple lentil recipes. Especially one that includes curry.

  10. TOTES. I’m a lentil lovah, to the max.

  11. Trying these tonight! I have bunches of lentils lying around that I’m not sure what to do with. Love curry too.

  12. This looks incredible. I love lentil dishes and I adore curry. Love the addition of coconut milk. I HAVE to make this this week :) Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your day.

  13. Yummy! I’m all for creamy curry lentils. They sound delicious! I like the bulgur mixed in there too. As for self diagnosing, I totally need to stop that too, haha. I don’t know too much about the “anti-inflammatory” stuff except that it means more veggies and less carbs and I know I feel better when I eat like that. Ooh, and ginger is very anti-inflammatory. I loooove fresh ginger.

  14. Looks delish!! We love lentils too – this inspires me to try a curry again!

    • You guys OWN lentils. Seriously. :) I’m sure you’ll have some awesome lentil fusion dishes when you come back from Cambodia!

  15. These look gorgeous…all of a sudden I know what to do with the stray random bits of lentils in my cupboard.

    • That is totally me. I finished off two bags that each had just a little bit left for this recipe! PS. I spent a long time perusing your site today and I’m loving the changes you’ve made. Beautiful!

  16. I’m the same bad googling way! I’ve officially put myself on a no WebMD diet!! I feel like thats worse for me than butter and cream!!

  17. Just made this with a few substitutions – a can of drained fire-roasted tomatoes instead of tomato paste, and no bulgar since I don’t have it on hand – and it is FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for posting!

  18. You’re a crack up! I frequent web MD in a somewhat compulsive and irrational way. I actually looked up the nutrition facts on lentils today (I had lentil soup although your lentil curry recipe would have been awesome too!) Tons of fiber and complex slow burning carbs – great meal! I like that you made a green curry out of them too to change things up!

  19. Those looks so delicious. I am good friends with Web MD myself. You go girl! Come visit this week. We have some great Irish treats to share.

  20. Well your two lovely back-to-back lentil recipes are exactly what drew me from Tasty Kitchen to your site! I absolutely love lentils, and I HAVE to try preparing them this way. =) Question–do you use regular brown lentils for this recipe?

  21. Girl, I might give you a run for your money with WebMD. :) Seriously, I sort of wished the internet didn’t exist…but then I couldn’t check out this weird skin thing…oh nevermind.

    Looks like, yet again, another yummy recipe!!

  22. How do you get the lentils to cook in only 15 minutes?

    • Just boiled em and after 15 they start to get tender! If you want them to be softer you can always boil them longer.

      • What specific type though. Are you not using dried lentils? When I make lentils they always take at least 45 mins on the stovetop

        • They are dried brown lentils. My package says cook for 15 mins and they taste done to me! :)

        • There are two sizes of lentils, so check whether you have the small or large ones. Also the freshness of the lentils will make a huge difference. The older they are the longer they take to cook (all other things being equal).

  23. Love lentils! What a great dish!

  24. says:

    This looks SO fabulous! We’ve been on a big lentil kick lately.

  25. Yum! Just made this and it is delicious! I added in some ginger, lime juice, and green onions right at the end as well to cut some of the richness.

  26. My husband made this for dinner last night, and it was delicious. We made a few changes (replaced the bulgur and spinach with barley and frozen peas, respectively) to fit what we had on hand, but the general concept is fantastic. The creamy, curry-spiced lentils were delicious for dinner and great the next day for lunch.

  27. Green curry sounds perfect here!! I rely way more on red curry but this is a great reminder to branch out :)

  28. I’m pretty much obsessed with lentils….that picture of the lentils with butter melting in it is making my mouth water.

  29. Lindsay!!!! I absolutely love this recipe and your photographs! Yummy! This is what I make with garbanzos and kidney beans but never tried using these lentils. I know I will love the texture of lentils in this flavorful curry!

  30. This looks amazing. I love lentils especially with all of those great spices. Plus they are so super filling and yummy. I am definitely bookmarking this. Thanks!

  31. Thanks for this great recipe. I love lentils!

    I don’t know about the anti-inflammatory thing, but it kinda makes sense. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and when I start eating garbage, my arthritis flares up. I figure an anti-inflammatory diet probably can’t hurt, at least.

    I’m looking forward to checking out your other recipes.

  32. This looks so scumptiously yummy. I do love lentils. I have all the ingredients and will be making this. Thanks for shatring.

  33. Lentils are a part of my everyday diet but this way to preparing is new to me. I absolutely love the combination of bulgar and lentils and coconut milk. YUM! I have to make this one!

  34. Tried this with brown rice instead of bulgar, and it was delicious! Would it possible to freeze this though?

    • I think it would be, except I might add in the coconut milk after reheating it to keep it nice and creamy :)

      • Ok will do, thanks! Having it for second day now, and bf also working his way through it – even had some as a midnight snack! :)

  35. I tried this with brown rice instead of bulgar, and it was delicious! Would it possible to freeze this though?

  36. Wow! I cook lentils almost everyday (being a vegetarian this is the only option I have :)). But this is the first time I tried uncooked lentils. I just added green peppers and some chat masala to it. Came out really nice, thanks Lindsay :)

  37. It looks wonderful. I love the uasqsh and arugula salad too. I was suppose to make uasqsh with pasta tonight, but had an emergency so I didn’t cook at home. I’ll make it later this week.

  38. This looks yummy! I wonder if you can make this in a slow cooker.

    • Great question! I’ve accidentally left the pot on too long and the lentils got burned to the bottom, so you would have to definitely increase the amount of liquid…but if you figure it out please let me know! :)

  39. Hi Lindsay! Quick substituion question for you. Could I substitute millet for bulgur? I have a ton of it, but maybe it wouldn’t get soft enough to blend into the curry? Many thanks!

  40. Just wanted to say I made this tonight, and it was delicious! I did leave out the butter and yogurt (vegan), but it was still great, thanks!

  41. I’m excited to try this. Love lentils and curry but I’ve never bought/made green curry paste before. Is there one brand that’s better than others? I’d love some suggestions. Thanks

    • I don’t know, I usually just buy whatever is at the store because usually there isn’t more than one brand :) I’ve never had a bad one, though, so hopefully whatever is at your store will be just fine!

  42. Holy moley, this was spicy! I used only half the green curry paste, and even my husband (who has spent a great deal of time in India) was shocked. Or perhaps it was my garam masala (which came from a street vendor in Zambia)? Either way, it was totally worth it. We served it with roasted carrots, and then raw honeycomb and almond-stuffed Barhi dates for dessert. Highly satisfying!!!

  43. Had this tonight! It was great!

  44. ESavage says:

    Yum, yum, yum!!!! So good, thank you for sharing this recipie. I’m becomIng quite a lentils convert myself! Keep sharing! Thanks.

  45. These look wonderful. We eat a lot of lentils over at our palce, so I am hoping to make these soon!!!

  46. Found your blog via pinterest while searching for lentil recipes. I loved reading about your adventures abroad. Fascinating! And kudos to you and your husband for spending a year helping others, and expanding your horizons at the same time!

    I made the lentils tonight but substituted quinoa for the bulgur because that’s what I had available. I also had to sub tomato sauce for the tomato paste (I used one small can) because I realized I didn’t have the paste. I did have to add more water and cook longer (maybe because of the quinoa?) but it was great. To go along with it I simmered some chicken breast in the rest of the can of coconut milk, along with a tbsp of the green curry and a couple of tbsp of fish sauce. (My 5 year old won’t eat the lentils, but will eat chicken.) The whole meal was delicious! My 4 year old gobbled up the lentils, as did my 8 month old baby! :)

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe. I hope you continue to enjoy your time in Cebu! I am adding your blog to my list of must-reads. :)

  47. I love your chatty banter and will check your site again. Is beetroot an antiinflammatory – not sure. Blessings !!!!

  48. I’m afraid I’m just as OCD as you about food and always looking for ways to make my health better, but I do truly believe that many of our health ills are caused by over-processed foods and foods that cause inflammation.
    Have you read “Wheat Belly”? It’s a great book. Wheat is an inflammatory food but I still want to try this recipe because it sounds great, even though I’m not a big lentil fan.
    Like you I see cancer problems with everything I eat as well, so I can totally understand where you are coming from…lol

  49. Lentils are my most favorite ingredient to cook with.
    I must say, hands down, this is the best and most practical lentil recipe I have EVER found of the internet. Please make more yummy lentil recipes.

  50. This looks yummy! Please share this in a new Linky Party –Weekend Kitchen Creations at Please join us, share your delicious creation, build more traffic for your blog and get other scrumptious ideas.

  51. Stephanie says:

    Could you make this with yellow split peas instead like you used for a previous lentil recipe? I have one cup of those leftover. Would it effect the initial cooking time and could they still be included with the bulgur to cook? Thanks!

    • I think you could use the yellow split peas! The bulgur will cook faster, so you’ll have to cook the split peas first and then add the bulgur closer to the end of the split pea cook time. Does that make sense? Hope you like it! :)

      • Stephanie says:

        Yes that does make sense. I will do that tonight… thanks very much for the response. I’m looking forward to cooking and eating this up tonight. :)

  52. Hi Lindsay,
    Thanks for the lovely lentil recipe. What an exciting life you have had and gained an education at the same time. You will never forget this experience and it will make you an even better person, more compassionate and understanding. I think it’s great!

  53. I take it a step further. I don’t just diagnose myself, I do it with the rest of my family too. They’ve almost stopped telling me how they’re feeling because they complain I’m worse than the doctor and I scare them with my research.

  54. My family LOVES your lentil recipes…even my 9 and 11 year olds. I always double them and either have for lunches for the week or freeze half for meal later. Thank you for posting delicious, healthful recipes! Have made them multiple times!

  55. Thanks for the post! I’m going to modify this recipe for our canoe trip, and serve with quinoa.

  56. Just made this,:-(urns out that my curry paste was hotter than I thought. I had to substitute red for green as I didn’t have green. I also had to substitute canned tomatoes for puree and baby broad beans for the spinach. I also had to use buckwheat instead of bulgar wheat to make it gluten free. Think I will need to tweak this before I eat any more. :n

  57. is there a substitute for bulgar that will be gluten free? or should i just omit?

  58. Really great! I used Thai green curry paste and might pull back a bit next time – 1/4 cup is a lot of heat! Great flavors and so happy for the NI as I am on weight watchers & the rest of my family is not – hard to please all but it did! I will try with quinoa next time – didn’t read this adaptation until now & I am very low gluten. Thanks so much .

  59. I have recently found out that I have Biotoxin Illness which mean my body is unable to remove toxins created from mold, Lyme disease, and algae from my body like normal people. approximately 25% of the population is genetically susceptible to this illness. When you cannot remove toxins your body becomes extremely inflamed. Another name for the Illness is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). So my body was totally inflamed. A blood test, TGFB-1, tests how inflamed a person is. I tested 27800 and normal is below 2380. For a while I was not totally serious about eating an anti inflammatory diet until 2 months ago when my blood tests showed the inflammation rose. I got serious for 2 months and basically did the autoimmune paleo diet and no amylose diet (no root veggies or bananas), no dairy, and definitely no gluten. I just got back my test results after 2 months and they were down to 4500! I ate a lot of indian food, avocado, coconut oil and milk, fresh home grown grass fed goat and elk that we hunted this year. I read somewhere that most people do have inflammation and leaky gut and that is far more dangerous than high cholesterol or blood pressure. I will definitely be trying this recipe minus the bulger and yogurt. Thanks!

  60. Jacqueline WAin says:

    I am not vegetarian but could easily be converted, I made this to the exact recipe and have never tasted anything so good, I absolutely love this, my hubby does too, thanks so much for posting this, I will be trying more of your recipes for sure. I will be eating lentils for a long time now to this exact recipe. Kind regard,s Jacqueline.

  61. Great recipe. I made this late one night just going through my pantry. I work as a chef so I tweaked the recipe a little. I used 2 cups of cocomilk so i could cook chicken pieces in with the lentils, and omitted the garlic and instead used a dried habenero garlic paste I made to give it some spice. When I plated I then added the raw spinach on the bottom of the plate, then the lentils, with some grated garlic and a spoon full of rice. came out amazing. I will be making this dish in the future for sure. thanks for sharing

  62. what curry pastes do you buy? I’d love to find curry paste I can buy in bigger quantities.

  63. This looks amazing, thanks for sharing.

    I had a huge bowl of green lentils soaking. I was planning to sprout them but then I read on the packet cannot eat them raw, even after soaking :(

    So after wandering around the net I somehow ended up here.

    I ad-libbed it a bit with by frying the onion in ghee with a star anise and minced ginger, and a bit of fenugreek. Im cooking mine slowly on the stove. Im sure it wont taste the same, but I’ll be happy if it has the same consistency as yours

  64. Any suggestions on other veggies I could add to this curry?

    • To pad it out, or you mean instead of the Spinach?

      Fresh diced tomatoes and onions would both be a nice addition.

      Diced butternut squash would work well too I think

  65. My husband and I work late so I’m always looking for vegetarian dishes I can make on Sunday and we can have for dinner all week. I made a double batch of this last night and it’s a keeper! For a double batch I ended up just using a whole can of coconut milk because I didn’t know what to do with the rest. I used the Thai Kitchen brand curry which wasn’t hellfire spicy like we like our green curry, so I’m going to hunt for a more authentic one. That was the only thing missing for me.

    Tonight to mix things up, I reheated some of this, put it in a flour tortilla with greek yogurt and some Major Grey’s chutney. SO good. I should have added in some chopped tomatoes though. Asian burrito! Thanks for this recipe! I’m trying the red curry lentils next.

  66. I just made it, it’s delicious! I added anaheim peppers and used millet.
    thank you for good inspiration and good eats!

  67. Just made this tonight with my organic French lentils-absolutely delicious! I did add some white meat chicken to make my meat eaters happy. Let it stew on low for an additional hour or so =(super tender) & oh, so tasty! Even my son ate it! Who knew the boy liked lentils?! A+ all around! And I am in love with your blog! Great voice! Cheers!

  68. Lindsay says:

    Can I use red curry paste instead?

  69. This is absolutely delicious! I’ve made it several times now and there are never any leftovers (much to my husband’s dismay). My teenage son, who normally complains any time I fix a meatless meal, actually requested this one night. It’s definitely a family favorite!

  70. Delicious! Made this with canned lentils so didn’t need to add salt, with addition of salty butter too. Added some coriander seeds which worked well. Even substituted tomato pesto plus ketchup for the paste, which I didn’t have….worked! Used leftover half can of coconut cream/milk which seemed enough too. Lovely recipe. Will add to favourites and use for my vegetarian kids when they come to visit. Thanks!

  71. Hi Lindsay your lentil recipes look owesome! Been going through your different lentil recipes but not sure what type you are using…. Are you using regular brown lentils or red?
    Thanks a lot

  72. Just wondering, when you say coconut milk are you talking the canned kind or refrigerated carton kind?

    Thank you

  73. It’s been ages since I commented on a blog, but I tried this recipe and it is SO FREAKIN’ GOOD I had to pipe up. Big kudos to you for making it (and big thanks for posting it!)
    I’ll be keeping this one on hand to use again on a weekly basis.
    Great job! :)

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