One-Pot Lentil Curry with Peas- this amazingly flavorful Indian-inspired vegan dish is filled with healthy green vegetables and so easy to make using only one pot.
This Lentil Curry with Peas- a super comforting Indian-inspired dish that is sure to be in your weekly dinner rotation! It uses very simple ingredients, but is HUGE on flavor!
Why You’ll Love this Lentil Curry dish:
- Have we mentioned it’s EASY?! This dish requires very few (simple ingredients) and you can whip this up in no time using just one pot and your stove. Or, you also have the option of using a pressure cooker/Instant Pot.
- It’s creamy and comforting. There’s something magical about combining coconut milk, lentils and green veggies. If you love curry recipes, this dish is a perfect fall, winter (or really anytime meal).
- It’s healthy! With only 179 calories and 1.2 grams of fat per serving, this dish is really good for you. It’s also packed with plant-based protein with over 11 grams per serving.
- It’s versatile. Eat this curry as-is, or combine it with some naan bread (or flatbread), rice, cauliflower rice, and/or a side of garlic spread. Yum!
What You’ll Need:
- Lentils- When it comes to lentils, the kind you use does make a difference. Red lentils tend to fall apart and become mushy, so they are not recommended for this recipe (try them in this Crushed Lentil Soup instead!). Green or brown lentils work best for this curry.
- Peas- for this recipe, we use either frozen sweet peas (thawed) or English peas. English peas tend to be a bit more firm, but we love the texture for this recipe. But either kind will work great. Just please don’t ever use canned peas!! (they are mushy and to be honest, just gross) =).
- Curry Powder– This spice comes in a multitude of different blends, so use your favorite for this recipe. We like Madras curry powder, which is a rich, versatile blend. Just make sure that your curry isn’t labeled “hot” if you don’t want a spicy dish. If you’re feeling creative, you can also experiment with adding additional spices to this dish, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper or garam masala.
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions:
1. sauté garlic and onions.
To begin, add 1/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Then add the diced yellow onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
2. Simmer Lentils.
Add the full can of coconut milk (liquid and all), lentils and 1/2 cup water. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 35-40 minutes until the lentils are soft and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
3. Add remaining Ingredients.
Finally, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, curry powder, peas, broccoli, and salt. Raise the heat to medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the broccoli is soft. Remove from heat and stir.
Serve this lentil dish with toasted naan bread or rice. Or even with a side of Mashed Cauliflower. This recipe makes about 6 (1-cup) servings.
*For Instant Pot/pressure cooker instructions, see the Recipe card below.
Store this dish in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last around 3-4 days and reheats very well.
EXPERT TIPS & FAQ’S:
No, the lentils do not need to be soaked in advance for this recipe. Just rinse to get rid of any small rocks or debri, and you’ll be ready to go.
The short answer is yes, making this lentil curry in your pressure cooker IS easier in regards to prep. Once the ingredients are in the pressure cooker, you can walk away and not worry about it. It will technically take the same amount of time to make, but you’ll need less attention to the dish. For Instant Pot instructions, see the Recipe card below.
- Spinach and Sweet Pea Coconut Curry (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- Potato Curry (Oil-Free, Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- Lentil Keema (Vegan, Gluten-Free, w/ Instant Pot Option)
- Instant Pot Chana Masala
If you make this Lentil Curry recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. We love to see our recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!
One-Pot Lentil Curry with Peas (+ Instant Pot option)Pin Rate
- Large Pot/Skillet or Dutch Oven (or Instant Pot)
- 1 3/4 cup unsalted or low-sodium vegetable broth – divided
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion – finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 15 ounce can light coconut milk – (can also use a can of full-fat coconut milk for a creamier curry)
- 1 cup dried brown or green lentils – rinsed (you can also use pre-cooked 'Steamed Lentils' from Trader Joe's- add in a later step- see note below)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 cups (or 10 ounces) frozen sweet peas, thawed – (or English peas)
- 2 cups (or 10 ounces) broccoli florets – broken into small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt – optional
Additional Ingredients/sides (optional):
- cayenne pepper
- nutritional yeast
- brown or white rice (for serving)
- Middle Eastern-style garlic sauce (for serving)
- lime juice
- Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth to a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Then add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the can of coconut milk (liquid and all), dried lentils, and 1/2 cup water. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer (on low heat) and cover. Cook about 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the liquid is absorbed.
- Add remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, curry powder, peas, broccoli, and salt (if desired). Raise heat to medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat. Taste and add additional salt, or even a dash of cayenne pepper, turmeric, garam masala, nutritional yeast or lime juice. Serve with naan bread and/or brown/basmati rice, or add a bit of Middle Eastern-style garlic sauce. This dish makes about 6 (1-cup) servings. Store this curry in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last around 3-4 days and reheats very well.
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Instructions:
- Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté function. Add the vegetable broth, garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onions are starting to soften. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
- Add the entire can of coconut milk, 1 cup water (or vegetable broth), dried lentils, broccoli florets, and curry powder. Stir.
- Secure the lid and set the knob to "Sealing". Then set the Instant Pot to 'Pressure Cook' or 'Manual' mode for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will build pressure, and then cook for 10 minutes. Let sit for an additional 10-15 minutes to release the pressure.
- Open the lid, stir and add the salt and peas. Stir again until combined. Adjust salt to taste, and serve with toasted naan bread (with garlic sauce), and rice. Note: the broccoli will be a bit mushy using the pressure cooker option, but it's still delicious!!
- If using Trader Joe’s pre-cooked ‘Steamed Lentils’, add to pan when lentils are called for, and immediately add the rest of the ingredients (no need to cook the lentils).
- It’s recommended to use green or brown lentils for this recipe. Red lentils will still taste good, but will fall apart and become mushy.
- In the photos, English peas (from Trader Joe’s) were used. These peas will have a little more of a ‘bite’ to them, compared to traditional frozen peas. Both are delicious!
Update Notes: This post was originally published in May of 2017, but was republished in December of 2020 with new photos, tips, FAQs and Instant Pot option.