It’s HOT outside, so I’m experimenting a lot with my slow cooker this week. Slow cookers are awesome not only because they’re mostly hands-off, but also because they contain their heat well and don’t cause that dreaded ambient heat rise in your kitchen. So, while I totally could have just boiled these Coconut Curry Lentils on the stove top, I saved myself some steam and sweat by cooking them in my slow cooker.
How to Serve Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils
My only issue with using my slow cooker a lot in the summer is that slow cooker recipes are often warm and heavy, more like winter recipes. To freshen these Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils up a bit, I topped them with finely diced red onion and a liberal sprinkle of chopped cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro, you can add some sliced green onion for a similar effect. For even more freshness, try adding a dollop of plain yogurt and a squeeze of lime juice.
Can I Freeze Coconut Curry Lentils?
This recipe makes a lot but luckily it freezes well–rice and all! Just portion everything out into single-serving freezer-safe containers, chill completely in the refrigerator, then transfer to the freezer.
What Size Slow Cooker Should I Use?
This makes a super big batch of lentils, so I would suggest using a 6-quart slow cooker. I use a very basic slow cooker from Hamilton Beach, which is so old that it’s not in production anymore, but you can find a similar slow cooker here. (affiliate link)
What Kind of Curry Powder Should I Use?
You can use either a hot or mild curry powder, depending on whether you prefer your lentils to be mild or spicy. People often ask me what brand curry powder I use, and I have enjoyed both the 365 brand curry powder and Sharwood’s curry powder. Or you can try making your own curry powder at home with this recipe for Easy Homemade Curry Powder from Spiceitupp.com
Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils
COCONUT CURRY LENTILS
- 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 2 cups brown lentils ($1.36)
- 1 sweet potato (about 3/4 lb.) ($0.98)
- 2 carrots ($0.22)
- 3 Tbsp curry powder (hot or mild) ($0.45)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional) ($0.03)
- 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes ($0.65)
- 1 15oz. can tomato sauce ($0.99)
- 3 cups vegetable broth* ($0.39)
- 1 14oz. can coconut milk (full fat) ($2.47)
- 10 cups cooked rice ($0.99)
- 1/2 red onion ($0.40)
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro or green onions ($0.40)
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Peel the sweet potato and carrots. Dice the sweet potato (1/4-1/2 inch cubes) and slice the carrots.
- Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, carrots, lentils, curry powder, cloves, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Once cooked, the lentils should be tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
- Stir the can of coconut milk into the lentils. Taste and adjust the salt or other spices as needed (the amount of salt needed will depend on the type of broth used and the salt content of the canned tomatoes).
- To serve, add 1 cup cooked rice to a bowl followed by 1 cup of the lentil mixture. Top with finely diced red onion and fresh cilantro.
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How to Make Slow Cooker Curry Lentils – Step by Step Photos
Dice one onion (it’s under all that stuff) and mince two cloves of garlic. Peel one sweet potato (3/4-1 lb.) and peel two carrots. Dice the sweet potato and slice the carrots. Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, and carrots to the slow cooker, along with 2 cups uncooked brown lentils.
Also add one 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes, a 15oz. can of tomato sauce, 3 Tbsp curry powder (mild or hot–your preference), and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. I’ve decided that I really like cloves in my curry, but if you’re not a clove person you can leave it out.
This is the curry powder I use, BTW. It’s just something I picked up at the grocery store, but it has pretty good potency. Curry powders can vary quite a bit from brand to brand in both flavor and potency, so you might have to experiment to find one that you like. I like to buy mild curry powder and then just add cayenne to dishes when I want things spicy.
Finally, add 3 cups vegetable broth to the slow cooker and give everything a good stir.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. If your slow cooker runs extra hot or doesn’t hold in moisture well, keep an eye on the cooker to make sure the lentils are not drying out. If they begin to look dry or burned on the edges, add more water. After cooking the lentils should be tender and most of the broth absorbed.
Stir in one 14oz. can of full-fat coconut milk. Give the lentils a taste and adjust the salt or other spices if needed. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of your vegetable broth and canned tomatoes. Mine had plenty of salt, so I added none. If you find the lentils to be bland at this point, add a 1/2 tsp of salt or so to see if that makes the flavors pop.
To serve the lentils, add 1 cup cooked rice to a bowl, followed by 1 cup of the coconut curried lentils. Top with finely diced red onion and fresh cilantro (or green onions if you’re not a cilantro person). Other optional toppings include: plain yogurt, a squeeze of fresh lime, or thinly sliced jalapeños.
These Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are sure to fuel ALL of your summer adventures! :D