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Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls with Cilantro-Mint Chutney Recipe

Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
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 apartโ€”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.

Split Red Lentils
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 proteinโ€”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 chutneyโ€”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 sautรฉed veggies would make perfect additions to this recipe.

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Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls with Cilantro-Mint Chutney Recipe

These spicy Curried Red Lentil & Quinoa Bowls are a quick, healthy dinner. Serve them with lime wedges and homemade Cilantro-Mint Chutney!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Notes

Rice, millet, or cauliflower rice can be substituted for the quinoa in this recipe.

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Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients through coriander in the small bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, then season to taste with salt.

Notes

Adapted from Gourmet’s Cilantro Mint Chutney and Mint Chutney.

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49 Comments

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    March 31, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Ooooh what a wonderful idea! I think i disagree with you on the least appealing food….I think the green lentils are worse looking! Especially as they turn to a murky green….either way, lentils are tough, but you made them look good! Love the red quinoa! Great runner meal right here, will have to give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 31, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Yeah, lentils in general are not very photogenic, are they? But at least they’re delicious! And healthy!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa
    March 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    This looks amazing. I love curry and haven’t used it in awhile, definitely giving this a try ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    March 31, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I think your pictures looks great! It makes me wanna eat it!! I need to pick up some of that Madras curry powder…I always buy the “regular” kind and it never has enough “umph” for me. Need to switch it out!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      I used to only use the sweet kind, but now I’m hooked on Madras. I love spicy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Taelin
    March 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Hello! I am new to the vegetarian world but so far I love it and am excited to make many of these amazing entrees. I have dried red lentils and other dried beans and I know that many of them need to be soaked over night or longer unless you have a pressure cooker and I was wondering if it is like that with lentils? According to the recipe it doesn’t sound like it but I just wanted to make sure before I started on this appetizing meal!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 31, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Nope, you don’t have to do that with lentils! Which is why they are my favorite legume to cook with–no soaking! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Emma
    March 31, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I love lentils of all varieties but you’ve just made me realize I’ve been neglecting the red ones lately. This looks like such a tasty dish, especially with that chutney. I bet that would be great on so many things.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 31, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      I had the leftover chutney with crackers. It’s really good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    March 31, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Red lentils are my favourite taste-wise but I agree they’re not too pretty! I love what you’ve done with them here though – the layered look of the bowls is so pretty and altogether this would be such a filling and healthy meal!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      It is really filling! I was going to add veggies too, but the quinoa and lentils were definitely enough for me.

  • Reply
    Joanne
    March 31, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    As unattractive as they are, I really do love red lentils. They have the best smooshy texture! And soak up spice so well. And if there’s one thing I REALLY love…it’s spicy red lentils.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      Yeah, something about that smooshy texture makes them such good comfort food. And healthy comfort food! Which is a rare thing!

  • Reply
    Meg van der Kruik
    March 31, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Poor curried red lentils! I love you even if you are the ugly child of the lentil family. This sounds amazing:)

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      I love them too. Just not photographing them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    April 1, 2014 at 12:52 am

    That cilantro mint chutney is calling my name! It sounds similar to one I always drown my food in at a local Indian restaurant. I think I would cry happy tears if I could replicate it ๐Ÿ™‚ Love!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      There are SO many Indian restaurant foods that I wish I could replicate. Indian food is a tough nut to crack!

  • Reply
    shelley @ Bacon Egg & Cheese{cake}
    April 1, 2014 at 1:20 am

    It’s funny because today I was just telling my friends that even though I’m not at all vegetarian myself, I gravitate so much towards vegetarian blogs because non-meat ingredients are just so much brighter and prettier. But I’ll agree with you on lentils… Never had red lentils before but I’d love to try them out!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      They are delicious! Most recipes using them seem to be curries or dal, so if you like Indian food, you will probably like red lentils. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Cara's Healthy Cravings
    April 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I sometimes make my curries extra spicy just so I have an excuse for a dollop of chutney and yogurt ๐Ÿ™‚
    I adore red lentils.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      I don’t need an excuse–I loooove chutney with my curry! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    April 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

    They are definitely pretty in their pre-cooked form! Plus, the sound of that cilantro chutney takes away any doubts of how good this dish might be.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      The chutney is essential for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so good!

  • Reply
    Katy
    April 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I just have a question about the grain that you used. That doesn’t look like quinoa to me. It looks more like faro which is tasty, too. Are there different types of quinoa?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      It’s red quinoa! ๐Ÿ™‚ It tastes the same as white quinoa (at least to me, it does), but I wanted to add some color to the photo, so I used red. But any kind of quinoa you have will work!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Produce on Parade
    April 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I love red lentils! I absolutely adore their peachy pale pink colour…until they are cooked. Then, not so pretty. I do enjoy how quickly they cook though. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also use almost exclusively red quinoa! And mint chutney…count me in!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      I know, how do they go from being so pretty to being… THAT?! Oh well, at least they’re tasty. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Mila
    April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Your recipes always look so good! I really enjoy your newsletter and your meal plans for the week.

  • Reply
    Angie (@angiesrecipess)
    April 2, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Can’t get enough quinoa! This looks filling, healthy and very tasty.

  • Reply
    Natalie Tamara
    April 2, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Somehow you’ve managed to make them look appetising – pretty or not ๐Ÿ˜‰ This would make a perfect no fuss dinner, yum!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    April 2, 2014 at 11:43 am

    This recipe looks tasty. Trying to eat healthier. Only whole and fresh foods. I have everything to make this on hand and will try this tonite ;o) I am not a big fan of Cilantro though. Is there some other herb I could substitue for this ingrediant in the chutney? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      You could just use all mint instead of mint and cilantro. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    camellia
    May 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Delicious! Very comforting. The chutney is a must to go with it.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      May 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks for your comment–I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Margey
    June 27, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Sooooo good. I just used regular curry powder, I’m not a fan of spicy. Even with regular curry I put a dab of Greek yogurt on it. The chutney is great. My husband and I ate it all, which was not the plan, but oh well. The lime really adds to it. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      June 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks for your comment – I’m glad it was a hit! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kathrine
    July 22, 2014 at 2:36 am

    Delicous recipe! I mixed in some coconut milk to make it creamier and it turned out really good. Btw love your blog!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      July 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    August 6, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    This was delicious, non-vegetarian family members enjoyed it as well. I used regular curry, and didn’t have any yellow onion left for the chutney so I made it without it, was still yummy. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe – thanks for your comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 12, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I recently started trying to have two meatless dinners a week and have loved things I’ve found here. This recipe was awesome. I used regular curry powder since I was feeding it to my kids. I also served it in roasted acorn squash. Both yummy and a nice color combo. Thanks for such a great recipe.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 20, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! I love the idea of incorporating acorn squash – perfect for fall. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Adriana
    October 18, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Is there anywhere I can find the nutritional information to these wonderful recipes?

  • Reply
    Luci
    May 26, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I made this last night and it was very nice – although I water sauteed rather using oil, and had to add more spices as the curry powder I had was a tikka massala mix. My only slight issue would be portion size, it didn’t seem to make very much? My OH had to have a double serving, and was still hungry after!
    Granted he’s a hungry dude, and nutritionally it seems quite dense between the lentils and quinoa, but perhaps serves 2-3 in my opinion, rather than 4?
    That’s just in my house though! Thank you for a fab recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

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