Kale Curried Red Lentils are ready in 30 minutes and can be made-ahead.  If you need a recipe for meal-prep, this red lentils are exactly what you need.  Eat with rice or by itself

How do you like your kale?

For me, I like it hidden from site in a recipe because I haven’t acquired a taste for it

This time, I put it front and center because it tastes really good in this recipe!

Front view of kale curried red lentils in a white plate

How to cook red lentils on the stove?

  • To cook them stove top, use 3 cups of water for 1 cup of red lentils.  I used two cups in this recipes, so, I bought 6 cups of water to a boil
  • When the water has boiled, add the red lentils.  Don’t add salt to the water which is a common practice.  I like adding salt when I put them in the final recipe.
  • Boil the red lentils for 15-20 minutes until you can mush them easily with a spoon. 
  • There will be some water left over and that is a good thing.  I strain the excess water and use it for recipes that call for stock.  This water is filled with protein and other nutrients, so, don’t throw it away.
overhead view of kale curried red lentils in a stainless steel pan

What’s the deal with massaging kale?

Kale is one of those high-maintenance type of greens.  Its needs to be soothed and massaged, if you want to get good flavor and texture from it.

The first thing to do is to wash the kale thoroughly and then remove the thick stems from it.  Cut the kale into ribbon shapes and place it in a glass bowl. 

Why glass bowls? They will make sure that the kale doesn’t react with the container.  Plastic or stainless steel alter the taste of the kale.

People add vinegar or salt to the kale before massaging it.  However, I don’t want to add flavors to the kale just yet.  When I start cooking it, that’s when the flavor should be added.

I add plain olive oil to the kale and gently massage it for about 5 minutes.  It’s basically gently squeezing it between your fingers and palm (check out the recipe video)

After massaging it, I refrigerated it while I prepared the rest of the curry.  When I am ready to add it to the red lentils, the kale is nice and soft.  At this point, its ready for cooking.

Overhead view of kale curried red lentils in a white plate

How does it taste?

Red lentils with kale are the perfect ingredients to be paired together because they compliment each other. Kale’s strong flavor adds to the red lentils dull flavors.

In turn, the red lentils help take away some of the strong flavors of this leafy green vegetable.

The kale curried red lentils were supposed to be part of a meal prep recipe.  I was going to put it in meal prep containers and store them for  use all week.

Front view of kale curried red lentils in a white plate

However, as it happens so often with me, this red lentil curry was just toooo good.  I couldn’t resist eating the whole pan at once!

The curry powder I used in this recipe is so aromatic that it made it too irresistible! Coupled with fresh garlic, it made my home have an amazing aroma.

I have a red lentil soup that I made in the pressure cooker which was so delicious!! It does make the red lentil a little mushy which is perfect for soup.

A few more kale recipes

If you like lentil recipes, check out my lentil-stuffed persimmons or my lentil potato medley

What’s your favorite way to cook red lentils?

I also love Green Lentils cooked in the instant pot. They are really simple to make in just 10 minutes and happen to be healthy too.

Overhead view of kale curried red lentils in a white plate

Kale Curried Red Lentils

Simple kale curried red lentils that are ready in 30 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people
Calories 1104 kcal


For the Red Lentils

For Massaging the Kale

  • 5 cup Kale Stem removed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

For the Curry

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Crushed (about 4 cloves of garlic)
  • 1/4 cup Red Onions finely diced
  • 1 Thai Red Chili Deseeded, finely diced (adjust to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk divided into 2 parts
  • 1 tsp Salt adjust to taste
  • 1/4 cup Cashew Halves
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Lime Juiced


  • Bring the water to a boil before adding the lentils to it
  • While water is boiling, place kale and oil in a glass container
  • Gently massage the kale for 5 minutes and refrigerate
  • After boiling the red lentils for about 20 minutes, turn of the heat
  • Drain any remaining water from the red lentils and use it as stock in future recipes
  • In a stainless steel pan, add the oil and heat on medium for 30 seconds
  • Add the cumin seeds and garlic
  • Mix it for a few seconds
  • Add the onions and Thai red chili
  • Saute for about 2 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the curry powder and mix
  • Add the coconut milk and mix well
  • Add the cooked red lentils and kale. Mix well
  • Add the remaining coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients
  • Mix it well one last time and serve



– The Thai red chili can be spicy.  When chopping them, I recommend using gloves
– To know when the red lentils are done boiling, use a spoon to mush a couple.  If they mush with little effort, they are ready.  Also, they will have lost all their color when done.  That’s another way to know that they are done.
– The water remaining after boiling the red lentils is very nutritious.  Do not throw it away.  Use it in future recipes like soups, curry or stir fry
– These lentils are the perfect meal-prep recipe.  So, transfer to meal prep containers and use them later in the week.  If you are refrigerating the lentils, use them up in a week.  If you are freezing them, use them up in about a month.  I don’t recommend microwaving them after removing them from the freezer.  Instead, heat it up stove-top for best taste. 


Calories: 1104kcalCarbohydrates: 143gProtein: 59gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 14gSodium: 1291mgPotassium: 2941mgFiber: 57gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 17050IUVitamin C: 247mgCalcium: 423mgIron: 20.8mg
Keyword how to cook red lentils, How to massage kale, kale curry, red lentil recipes
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5 from 1 vote

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  1. Wow we love this looks delicious. Also going to try making this ourselves. Great video and pictures.