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Red Lentils with Caramelized Onions

Easy recipe
Red Lentils with Caramelized Onions

Red Lentils with Caramelized Onions is definitely one of the meals in heavy rotation at my home starting as soon as the temperature drops. The temperature dropped from 100º to 85º today so I went for it.

This Red Lentil recipe is an Indian-style preparation like a dal where the lentils fall apart as they cook and create a thick soupy stew. Although it is a vegetarian meal, it will definitely satisfy even the most hardcore meat eater.

I have been making this dish for years and still love it as much as the first time. Red lentils, coconut milk, garlic and curry powder are the base of this recipe.  It only takes 30 minutes to cook along with the caramelized onions and basmati or jasmine rice to round it out. I used to make a side dish of sautéed spinach but now I add spinach or swiss chard to the lentils the last 5 minutes. It saves me from washing one more pan!!

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Red Lentils with Carmalized Onions

  • Author: Lisa @ My Studio Kitchen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A great vegetarian meal to satisfy everyone.


  • 2 tablespoons canola, coconut or grapeseed oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 11/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup coconut milk, plus additional to taste
  • 31/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup greens (spinach, swiss chard), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Caramelized onions

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 3 onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oil in large deep skillet.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, coconut milk, water and salt, stir.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes. The lentils should be the texture of a thick soup. If it becomes too thick, add additional water and/or coconut milk.
  5. Add the greens the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir and cover until greens wilt.
  6. Add cilantro and stir.


  1. Heat a skillet with oil, then add onions and salt.
  2. Continue to cook on low flame, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stir every 5 minutes.
  3. Uncover and continue cooking until onions are golden brown.


Serve lentils with rice and a tangle of caramelized onions on top.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: lentils, red lentils, indian,



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Introducing a collaboration between
Culver City Farmers Market
and My Studio Kitchen.
In my weekly visits to the market,
I’ll be checking out the fresh produce
from the farmers as well as the fish,
bread and cheese vendors to see
what’s new and what’s in season.
Then I’ll share my quick and easy
recipes with you. I’m hoping you will
find inspiration to try new recipes
and experiment with
new ingredients as well.







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