This creamy, beautifully spiced Instant Pot lentil curry is super easy and nutritious, perfect for a plant-based weeknight dinner for the whole family. It’s a thick, stew-like curry that can be served over rice or as is with some crusty bread.
Whether you’re looking for a new vegetarian and vegan-friendly meal or you’re expanding your lentil recipe repertoire, this coconut curry dish is a total keeper because it’s easy, full of plant-based protein, healthy fats and veggies.
This Instant Pot lentil curry stew, similar to dal, but with a creamy coconut twist. It can be served as is, over rice or quinoa, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. The choice is yours! Make sure to try our nutritious Indian spinach rice or turmeric rice.
PS. This curry freezes well and keeps in the fridge for a few days, so it’s great for leftovers.
Ingredients For Instant Pot Lentil Curry
We used simple, easy accessible and affordable ingredients in this recipe, including some nutritious veggies. You can use any type of dried lentils and the recipe is for unsoaked (just rinsed) legumes.
In terms of spices, these curried lentils only use mild curry powder. It’s a simple and lightly spiced yet very flavorful dish. The part that takes the most effort is dicing all onions, carrots, celery and garlic.
If you can’t eat garlic, it can be replaced with some ginger instead.
MORE INSTANT POT LENTIL RECIPES
Instant Pot Thai Red Lentil Soup
Simple Instant Pot Lentil Carrot Soup
Instant Pot Turkish Split Pea Stew
Also, you might like out Guide To Cooking Legumes and our other vegan-friendly Instant Pot recipes.Print
Instant Pot Lentil Curry With Coconut
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Indian-inspired
These creamy, beautifully spiced vegetarian Instant Pot lentil curry stew is super easy and nutritious, perfect for a plant-based weeknight dinner for the whole family. It can be served as is, over rice or quinoa, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
- 2 cups dried lentils (250 ml cups)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 large celery stick, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 heaped teaspoons mild curry powder
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 4–5 cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 medium tomato, chopped)
- 1 can coconut milk (mix well before opening), about 400 ml
- 2 cups of vegetable stock (or water + 1 vegetable stock cube) – NOTE: this has been updated as per comments/feedback!
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander
- Rinse and drain the lentils and set aside.
- Turn the Instant Pot and press the Sauté function button.
- Add the oil and heat up slightly, then add the onions, carrots, celery and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add the curry powder, lentils, garlic and tomatoes and stir through. Add coconut milk and vegetable stock, stir.
- Then turn off the Sauté function by pressing Cancel/Keep Warm button. Place and lock the lid, making sure the valve is pointing at Sealing. Press the Manual, HIGH pressure and adjust the time to 5 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start building up the pressure (about 5 minutes) and then the cooking. Once the timer goes off, allow 10 minutes for the pressure to release naturally and then use the quick release method (carefully move the lid valve to Venting) to let the rest of the steam off. Then open the lid, add the lime juice and stir the lentils.
- Serve with fresh cilantro/coriander on top.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 573
- Sugar: 6.5 g
- Sodium: 732.1 mg
- Fat: 21.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 16.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 73 g
- Fiber: 12.7 g
- Protein: 27.9 g
- Cholesterol: 2.3 mg
Keywords: Curry, Legumes, Coconut
Is there a way to make this without an instapot? I just made it in my instapot and it was amazing! Followed the receipe exactly. I want my mom to enjoy it but she does not have an instapot.
This dish can be cooked in a heavy saucepan or a pot on the stove. Repeat the first few steps in a regular pot on the stove. Once sauteeing is done, add the lentils and liquids and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a very low simmer, cover and set your timer for 20-30 minutes. The cook time will vary slightly based on the variety:
Green Lentils: 18-20 minutes
Lentils de Puy: 25-30 minutes
Brown Lentils: 20-25 minutes
Black Lentils: 25-30 minutes
This should work! She might need to monitor the liquid as it might evaporate quicker than in the Instant Pot, in which case she can add a bit more stock or water to the cooking lentils.
This worked wonderfully & lentils still held their shape. Served with raisins for topping to add sweetness to curry. Could cut down amount of coconut milk as it’s quite rich.
I’ve been cooking lentils for decades and this is The Best lentil recipe I’ve made. New favorite! Love the curry powder and canned coconut milk additions. Also I doubled the vegetables, sauteed in coconut oil, and was generous with red curry powder. Added 2 cups plain water and cooked for 8 minutes rather than 5. I topped with chopped tomatoes and sliced avocado. OMG!
I wish I had read the comments prior to making a 3x recipe (office function) liquid to lentil ratio was way off and I had to battle the burn notice several times before success. Otherwise, tasty and the office loved it.
Amazing, made a quadruple batch for a vegan soup kitchen I volunteer at, it was quite a hit with our patrons!
Thank you, glad it worked for you!
My IP would seal under pressure with this recipe? I’ve only is d it about 10 times so I can’t imagine that the seal needs replacing already? I had thoroughly cleaned the lid. In the end I used the slow cooking function
Hey Jai, sealing shouldn’t be an issue with this recipe in particular for any reason. With my IP, I often have to adjust the lid and secure it into place before placing it on the pot. It’s just a little loose. It can be finicky, but I haven’t had to replace it at all. Sometimes, when placing it back on the pot, gravity can take its toll and work the ring back down again, so it needs to be quite secured with the valve turned all the way shut. I hope this helps you to troubleshoot.
I am loving your site and have made several recipes including this one. Thank You !
The liquid ratios are obviously off by quite a bit as mentioned in earlier comments. I believe you should go back and change the recipe to reflect this to prevent bad experiences by your readers.
Hey Tim, thanks for the feedback. It worked well for us and many others as is but we’ve updated the water/stock amount as per comments to 2 cups.
Delicious! I used the mirepoix from Trader Joe’s and pre-chopped garlic, which made this an especially easy recipe.
Christie, that stuff is a lifesaber! So glad you enjoyed it. It’s quite simple and so delicious.
The amount of liquid is not correct. Should be a 2:1 ratio of liquid to dried lentils. I made it as directed but had to add 2 cups of water and cook it for another 5 mins in the IP afterwards, then it was OK. Flavours were excellent, but the ratios are wrong.
oh man you are so RIGHT! Glad you caught this. I added 1 c water and could have used 2. I think veg broth would have been good too.