Curried Lentils*



Adapted by Vlad Konstantinov and Dr. Joe, modified from "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

NOTE:  You can cook this in one of two ways, the One Pot method is preferred.     

(1)  ONE-POT METHOD:  Add lentils to boiling water, cook for 10 minutes, then add the veggies and everything will be perfectly cooked together.   It may end up like a soup depending on how much water you start out with.    (2)  The TWO-POT METHOD: Makes it easier to avoid a soup-like consistency, but more work, and the ingredients don't get to simmer together.  


  • 5 cups water
  • 2 Cups green lentils (= 16 Oz packet).  (We said green because we know how long to cook it;  other colors cook faster, also green looks good with the carrots and tomatoes).  
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium, or one very large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped  (Optional):  
  • 2 cups of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • One large potato (or two medium), cut into generous bite-sized pieces.
  • 3 fresh ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups chopped), preferably heirloom or Italian if available.  (i.e., tomatoes that taste good).   Or a 24 oz can of tomatoes, without liquid, whole or chopped.  If whole, cut them up with a scissors.   
  • (optional):   4 skinny green chili peppers OR 1 jalapeño  OR 2-3  mild chili peppers, to taste, seeded and chopped, OR  1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or 1 - 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce.  
  • one-half bunch of fresh parsley (optional)
  • 2.5 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste. 
  • Chopped nuts for optional garnish at end.
  • Optional salt to taste.  



    • Chop all veggies in advance, so they can be added at the right time.
    • Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a large covered pot.   (At any time add a little more hot water if needed). 
    • Add lentils and boil for exactly 10 minutes, then add in the chopped carrots, potatoes and onion (NOT tomatoes).   
    • At the same time, add the 3 cloves of chopped garlic,  the one chopped jalapeno (or chili powder), the 2.5 teasp curry powder, and fresh ground pepper.     
    • (At any time add a little extra hot water if needed, but too much will result in soup.  Cook Covered; the steam helps to cook the veggies which are not fully  submerged).   
    • Continue boiling until lentils and veggies are done;  potatoes should be done but not too soft.  
    • Just before serving, stir in the fresh chopped tomatoes and parsley.   The tomatoes should remain raw.  If added too early they tend to disappear.  Tasty heirloom or other good-tasting tomatoes are excellent this way; otherwise use canned.  
    • If using salt, add just before serving, or let diners add their own salt.  (Freeze any unused portion without salt).    
    • Garnish with chopped nuts or more raw parsley, if using.  


    • Boil lentils until done, drain off all the liquid, reserving some in case it needs to be re-added. 
    • Boil the potato pieces and carrot pieces in a pan separate from the lentils, until done, then combine with lentils. 
    • Caramelize onions and celery in a separate non-stick pan without oil (i.e. brown on one side without stirring), then add to the lentils. 
    • Add all the remaining ingredients, stir, and correct the seasonings.  


Either method:  Other optional ingredients added near the end of cooking:   cilantro, chopped zucchini, green peppers, greens, etc!   If using greens, add them about a minute before serving, and add them only to the portion that will be consumed.  (Don't add greens to any portion that will be frozen).   

Serve hot or cold, with pasta or rice




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tagged this with Excellent 2012-05-26 15:24:22 -0400
published this page in Quick Recipes 2012-01-16 11:05:00 -0500