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!
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.
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.
How to cook red lentils on the stove?
Red lentils are one of my favorite lentils to cook. We use it extensively in Indian cooking and almost always cooked in a pressure cooker. However, for this recipe, I cooked them stove top because I didn’t want them to get mushy.
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 and then added the red lentils. Don’t add salt to the water which is a common practice. I like adding salt in the recipe I will use it in.
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 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.
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 and helps take away some of the strong flavors of this leafy green vegetable.
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.
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. Glass bowls will make sure that the kale doesn’t react with the container. I have seen people use stainless steel containers for Kale and I don’t recommend that at all.
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 massage it for about 5 minutes. It’s basically gently squeezing it between your fingers and palm (I show you how I do it in the recipe video below). Don’t add too much pressure because that will make them wilt-y
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.
What’s your favorite way to cook red lentils?
Kale Curried Red Lentils
Kale Curried Red Lentils
Simple kale curried red lentils that are ready in 30 minutes
For the Red Lentils
- 6 cup Water
- 2 cup 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.