Photography by Liz Fetchin

Warming Red Lentil Stew

by Liz Fetchin, Octofree (@octofree;


JANUARY 23, 2024

This vegan lentil curry stew is spicy, nourishing, and just the thing to warm up chilly winter evenings. Simmer the lentils until they are tender while sautéing onion, garlic, ginger, and chiles with spices, then incorporate the onion mixture into the lentils. Serve alongside rice and garnish with plain vegan yogurt and cilantro for a gorgeous presentation of flavor and color.

Note: This recipe is modified from The Curious Chickpea’s Masoor Dal Tadka recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10



  • 2 cups dry red lentils
  • 8 cups water or veggie stock
  • 1 tbsp mild oil, such as coconut or canola
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium mild onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp canned green chiles (I used mild, but you can use medium or hot for more spice)
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 ounces crushed tomatoes


  • 2 cups Basmati rice, prepared per package instructions
  • plain vegan yogurt (I use Harmless Harvest)
  • chopped cilantro


  1. Place lentils and water in a large stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Note: you do not need to drain the lentils; they will soak up the water.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, melt the oil in a large sauté pan, then add garlic, onion, green chiles, ginger and salt and sauté until onions and garlic are soft and fragrant.
  4. Add spices and salt and cook for another minute or so, then add tomatoes.
  5. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the onion and garlic mixture to the stock pot with the cooked lentils and stir to combine.
  7. Simmer over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  8. Serve along with prepared rice and provide plain vegan, nut-free, soy-free yogurt and cilantro for garnish.


Liz Fetchin is a regular contributor to The Green Voice