Cheap Eats: Vegetable and Lentil Curry with Rice

Vegetable and Lentil Curry

Welcome back to the blog all! This is the first in my Cheap Eats series. This is kind of a quick recipe I threw together for my One Vegan/Vegetarian Meal a week dish. I hope you guys enjoy my Vegetable and Lentil Curry with Rice recipe.

Trust me.. this one was delicious!

This is a beginner friendly vegan recipe that packs a lot of flavour and is very filling.

A quick disclaimer: This is not a “traditional” curry.. rather my take/mashup of one. I wanted to have a recipe with ingredients everyone has access to, so please make it your own!

Let’s jump right in to it!


OK, so you’re gonna want to start with your lentils. I just throw my lentils into a pot with water and boil until cooked. I do not salt the water as I find it’s not necessary. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know I try to use as little salt, when cooking, as possible. I use a variety of other spices for flavour (I’m currently working on my Top Ten Spice Post, so will update when finished).

If you have read my other Top ten posts, you’ll know that lentils are a Pantry must. I use lentils in a lot of my meatless meals, as I love the flavour and texture. They’re also very versatile!


So I was unsure of whether I should include a recipe for rice in this post. I’m not a big rice eater and I’ve only now really started cooking it often (rice is very popular in Barbados so this is a big faux pas for me lol). You can make any kind of rice you want, but for this recipe I used regular long grained rice.

I cook my rice by using the 1:1.5 ratio. I.e. if using one cup of rice, use one and a half cups of liquid. I say liquid because you can use just water, but I normally crush a stock cube in my water and use the “stock” instead. It gives the rice a much better flavour. I also add half and onion and some fresh herbs (thyme, margaram, parsley) to my rice.

Whilst my rice was cooking, I added some okras and plantains to steam on top. You do not have to do this, I just didn’t want to cook them separately. No one wants another dish to wash!

Rice served with Vegetable and Lentil Curry

Vegetable Prep

Because this is a cheap eats post, I used canned vegetables instead of fresh. You do not have to do this. If you can afford to buy fresh veg, please do, as it would enhance the vegetable flavour in your lentil and vegetables curry more… but I guess that’s obvious.

I would recommend carrots, english potatoes/sweet potatoes and maybe some pumpkin or squash. You can even throw some broccoli in there, it’s totally up to you! I had some left over veg from the night before in the fridge, so I threw them in at the end.

If using fresh veg, I recommend chopping in chunks.

Coconut Milk

For this curry, I used coconut milk powder. I like to keep a pack in my cupboard at all times for when I want a quick curry. A can of coconut milk will work just as good. This is just what I had at the time.

If you only have access to powdered coconut milk, just follow the instructions on the packet. The packet I had, I only needed to add boiled water. This gave me around a cup of coconut milk.

Vegetable and Lentil Curry

Now lets put everything together.

First lets add some oil into a pan, then add your onions and garlic. I didn’t have any at the time, but if you have any red pepper flakes on hand, add these to the oil first and let cook for a little. The heat helps bring out the flavour. Obviously don’t add these if you don’t like hot food.

Add your curry and garam masala (if using) to pan to cook for about a minute of so.

Once onions have softened, add your veg and stir well. Let these cook for about five minutes so they can soften a little and suck in some of that flavour.

Next, add your cooked lentils and combine.

At this point, you can now add the remaining spices, and let everything cook down for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.

Finished vegetable and Lentil curry

Add coconut milk and water, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Lentils take in a lot of water, so if you find it’s doing this, just add some more water.

You can leave your curry on for however long you want, as soon as you get your preferred consistency, you can turn off the heat.

At this point, you’re really only cooking the spices and reducing the curry.

If you used fresh veg, you can turn it off when vegetables have cooked.

If you find your curry is a bit too thin, uncover and set to a higher heat until liquid has reduced down. Make sure to keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to burn or for it to become too stodgy.

Give it a taste, and add spices to your liking if needed.

Serve your vegetable and lentil curry with rice. If so desired, add your favourite flat bread. Depending on the kind of flatbread you use, this will turn this vegan recipe into vegetarian one.

Did you enjoy this recipe?

This post was like a walking ad for my Top Ten Pantry Items post. I really didn’t mean it to be, but there’s a reason why these item are in my essentials list. I really do use them a lot!

Let me know how yours turns out, and tag me on Instagram -and any other social media networks- with your pics so I can see! (Everything @thefoodmashup)

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out some of my other recipes 🙂

Vegetable and Lentil Curry

Vegetable and Lentil Curry

A delicious vegan recipe, perfect for beginners.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • ¼ cup lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger paste (optional)
  • 1 can mixed vegetable
  • 1 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli/cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 dash of safron (optional)
  • ½ tsp cumin ground/seeds
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water boiled


  • In a pan, add oil to medium low heat
  • Add onions and garlic and let cook down for 5 minutes or until soft. (If using ginger paste, add as well)
  • Add curry powder and garam masala to pan, and let heat for 1 minute
  • Add vegetables to pan, stirring well, and let cook. If you find everything is sticking to pan, lower heat
  • When everything is mixed well, add cooked lentil, making sure everything is combined
  • Season with spices, and let cook together for around 5 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and water, and allow to simmer before covering for 15 minutes or until vegetables have cooked (if using fresh veg).
  • After 15 minutes is up, uncover and taste your curry. If you need to add anymore spices (curry etc.) let it simmer for another 5 minutes so the spices can cook. If happy with the taste, turn off heat and serve.


Tip: If curry is too thin/thick adding water or reducing longer with help with the consistency.
Tip: Basmati rice is great with this dish
Tip: You can substitute in curry paste
Keyword beginner, easy, healthy, lentil, quick, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian