clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
White bowl served with brown rice, lentil curry and a lemon wedge.

Brown Lentil Curry

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Diet: Vegan


Loaded with warming spices and hearty lentils, this brown lentil curry is full of flavor, comforting and super easy to make.


  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 roma tomatos, diced
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 small potato, cubed
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup minced collards, kale or spinach
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon Wedges


  1. Heat oil in pot and add in cumin seeds and sauté until fragrant.
  2. To the pot, add in onion with a pinch of salt, ginger, garlic and sauté until onions soften.
  3. Add in remaining spices and tomatoes and cook them down to release their juices.
  4. Stir in lentils, potatoes, vegetable broth, sugar and bay leaf and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes, cooking lentils until cooked through.
  5. Uncover curry and add in collard greens, allowing greens to soften from the natural heat of the curry for a few minutes before serving with some lemon wedges.


Why Include Lemon?

Totally optional, but having a little citrus with something like lentils that are high in iron can help us absorb the iron even more. Lemon wedges are included to squeeze overtop your


Feel free to use the lentils of your choice. You can make this using green lentils, yellow lentils or even red lentils. Just note that smaller lentils like yellow lentils and red lentils tend to get mushy while they cook. If you want lentils with more of a chew, feel free to use French Lentils, brown lentils or beluga lentils. Just make sure to adjust liquids and cook time depending on the lentils you use.

Doneness of Lentils

If lentils are still firm, add an extra 1/3 cup of water and cover with a lid and simmer on low for an additional 10 minutes. Some beans/lentils can remain harder in the event that they are older. It’s hard to tell the age of beans that are packaged, but this often times impacts the cooking time.