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Super Quick Red Lentils and Rice

Dish Type: Assorted Beans and Lots o'Lentils


  • 2.5 cups red lentils, rinsed under cold water until it runs clear
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or grapeseed oil [Note: I omit this now]
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried marjoram or oregano
  • .25 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • .5 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lemon juice, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
  • 6 to 8 cups cooked brown rice, for serving


Combine the lentils and water in a large pot and stir in the turmeric, chili powder, and salt.

Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender and the mixture is more or less homogeneous, 25 to 30 minutes. (Some of the lentils will dissolve completely while others will just barely hold their shape and provide some texture.)

When the lentils are about 2 minutes from being done, heat the oil in a separate pan over medium-high heat. [Again: I don’t do that part anymore, and instead just lightly toast the spices in a dry skillet.]

Add the fennel and cumin seed, marjoram, mustard seed, and red pepper flakes and stir for a minute. Then pour the spice-and-oil mixture into the pot with the lentils, along with the baby spinach, and stir to combine and wilt the spinach.

Serve over brown rice, garnished with cilantro, lemon juice, hot sauce, and more salt to taste.

When reheating this dish (or if it sits for a while on the stove and begins to dry out), simply add some hot water and it will be like new again!

Read the blog post where this recipe originally appeared: Vegan Red Lentil Curry

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