I think red lentils might just be the least appetizing food you can cook. Well, visually, at least. When you cook split lentils, they fall apart—kind of like split peas in split pea soup. I spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to make curried red lentils look attractive, but sometimes you just have to let curried red lentils be curried red lentils. You do you, lentils! You do you.
So they’re not pretty, but I assure you, these Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls are delicious. I had the curried red lentil recipe in my pocket for a while and I just wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I tried serving it over cauliflower steaks, but that was kind of weird. Serving it over quinoa is much better! It also makes this recipe a great source of protein—the quinoa has 6 grams per serving and the lentils have 10.
Because I used Madras curry powder in this recipe instead of sweet, the lentils are a little bit spicy. You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt to your bowl to cool it down a bit, or make a batch of Cilantro-Mint Chutney. I love this chutney—it’s not too minty since it’s made with cilantro too and it adds a little touch of sweetness to the bowl. If you like your bowls ginormous and veggie-packed, roasted sweet potatoes, spinach, and steamed or sautéed veggies would make perfect additions to this recipe.
These spicy Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls are a quick, healthy dinner. Serve them with lime wedges and homemade Cilantro-Mint Chutney!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Madras (hot) curry powder
- 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lime wedges and Cilantro-Mint Chutney for serving
- Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, start the curried lentils. Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and just beginning to turn golden brown. Stir in the ginger, garlic, and curry powder; cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the lentils and cook 1 minute more.
- Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Partially cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the lentils have fallen apart, then remove the lid and cook for about 5 minutes more to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork and divide it into four bowls, then ladle the curried red lentils over the quinoa. Serve with lime wedges and Cilantro-Mint Chutney.
Rice, millet, or cauliflower rice can be substituted for the quinoa in this recipe.
- 3/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients through coriander in the small bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, then season to taste with salt.