Julia's Kitchen

Nourish your body, feed your soul.

Julia’s Kitchen Red Lentil Coconut Curry May 19, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — adaba @ 2:45 am


I have been making this soup and variations of it for at least 8 years. For the last two, we’ve had it at the cafe every single day and I’m still not sick of it! This recipe was requested by a couple who visited the cafe while in Boulder last Summer and still remember it fondly. I hope to write a cookbook in the near future, because I really want this kind of food to be accessible to everyone, but for now, blogging it is! Of course, you should make this recipe your own by switching up the veggies and tweaking the proportions to your taste. Take the coconut and curry out and add some Berbere spice and you’ll have a delicious Ethiopian soup!

Julia’s Kitchen’s Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Serves 6-8

  • 3 cups split red lentils
  • coconut oil for sautéing
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4-5 medium carrots, diced
  • 4-5 stalks celery
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1-2 inches ginger, grated (no need to peel!)
  • pinch asophoetida
  • 1 strip kombu
  • 1/4 cup curry powder
  • 1/2 package creamed coconut, dissolved in a large measuring cup of hot water
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • chopped cauliflower
  • chopped spinach
  • sea salt and lemon or lime juice to taste
  1. Soak red lentils 8-12 hours in filtered water.
  2. Heat a large soup pot to medium-low heat.
  3. Add coconut oil and swirl around the pan.
  4. Add chopped onions and cook 5-6 minutes until translucent.
  5. Add chopped carrots and celery and continue to cook 4-5 more minutes.
  6. Clear a space in the center of the pan, add 1 teaspoon coconut, add minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 45 seconds.
  7. Meanwhile, drain and rinse lentils.
  8. Add lentils to cooked vegetables with water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil.
  9. Add asophoetida, and kombu and turn heat to a high simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils have started to break down, stirring often.
  10. Add the dissolved coconut cream, tomato paste, curry powder, and cauliflower, turn heat down, and continue to cook, stirring often, for 10 more minutes.
  11. Stir in the chopped spinach and season with salt and fresh lemon juice to taste.
  12. Enjoy as is or over cooked grains!

2 Responses to “Julia’s Kitchen Red Lentil Coconut Curry”

  1. Awesome Thank You Julia. I can’t wait till your cookbook comes out! Can I substitute or leave out items that I have never heard of such as asophoetida & kombu? Or are those essential? And if so where do I find them?

  2. adaba Says:

    Hi Rajni! Asophoetida is a digestive aid and also adds a bit of pungency to the flavor of foods. It is available at Savory Spice Shop. Kombu is a sea vegetable that helps to break down the beans and also contributes to digestibility. It’s also rich in minerals, particularly iodine, which many of us lack in our diets. Kombu can be purchased with the other seaweeds in any natural food store. Both kombu and asophoetida are health supportive foods, but certainly can be left out if you don’t have them!

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