Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry

I am a bit belated in posting, but excited to share this delicious red lentil and sweet potato curry recipe. The past few weeks, I have had nothing to offer on the culinary front because I have been doing an elimination diet to test for skin allergies. If you don’t know what that is, you basically eliminate any foods that could potentially trigger allergic reactions for about 3 weeks and then reintroduce them one at a time. This is suppose to help me figure out what I am reacting to. I welcome prayers that it is not oatmeal or whiskey.

All that to say, it has been a rather rough culinary season and I have not known what to share. Five weeks in though, I am discovering some dishes that are delectable, mainly a large variety of curries. This curry is a creamy, delicious dish packed with veggies. In keeping with my allergy testing season, it is gluten, dairy, soy, nut and nightshade free.

I like this recipe because you can also make it with very little waste. Because I scored my lentils in bulk, the can for the coconut milk was the only thing that went to the recycling pile. Garlic and sweet potatoes are also available in season here in Illinois, making at least some of the ingredients local.

Onto the recipe…

The key to making curry is to have your spices pre-measured and veggies pre-chopped. That way, you can quickly add everything in and not end up with burnt spices.

This recipe has a blend of curry powder, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and turmeric. You should be able to find these in any super market, but for sure in a local spice store or middle eastern or Indian market. I toasted up my spices in a couple teaspoons of olive oil before adding in onion, garlic and ginger.

After your onions have a few minutes to cook, you can stir in rinsed red lentils, sweet potatoes, water, coconut milk and salt. Let that simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft and then puree part of the soup to add thick, creamy deliciousness.

Add in some lime and cilantro and garnish with coconut and roasted pumpkin seeds and voilà! Feel free to serve with rice, quinoa or pita. As a good Cuban, I’m obligated to remind you, it will always be better the next day. This makes 8 servings, so I freeze half the batch and use the other half for lunches during the week.

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry

A creamy, delicious lunch or dinner packed with warm spices, veggies and coconut. 

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins | Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Servings: 8 1 1/2 cup servings


  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder

  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 2 tsp olive oil

  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, diced

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (equal to 3 cups)

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (equal to 4 cups)

  • 3 cups red lentils, rinsed

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 3 cups water, and more as needed

  • 1 tbsp salt (to taste)

  • 1 lime juiced, plus lime wedges for serving

  • 1 medium bunch cilantro, diced, plus cilantro for serving

  • Garnish:

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds, for serving

  • Unsweetened coconut flakes, for serving


  • Combine curry powder, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and turmeric in a small bowl. Have ginger, garlic, onion and sweet potato diced before starting.

  • In a LARGE pot, warm 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat for about 1.5 minutes, or until oil is fragrant but not smoking. Add spices to hot oil and stir frequently for 30 seconds, or until evenly toasted. 

  • Stir in onions, ginger and garlic along with 2 tbsp of water. Stir until onions are evenly coated with spices. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened, adding splashes of water as needed to prevent sticking.

  • Add sweet potato, rinsed lentils, coconut milk, 3 cups of water, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium heat (it takes around 15 minutes).

  •  Cover and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

  • Stir every 15 minutes or so and add water as needed to keep the lentils covered. 

  • Once the sweet potatoes are soft, use an immersion blender to blend about half the curry (you can use a regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender, just be careful to not burn yourself). 

  • Stir in the juice of 1 lime and diced cilantro. Add salt, curry powder, and lime juice to taste. 

  • Serve with rice, pita, or quinoa, if desired. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, unsweetened flaked coconut, cilantro and lime wedges. 


You can freeze this for easy weeknight meals as well!

Buen Provecho!

♡ Elena