Recipe: Lentil & Kumara Curry

This is a great vegetarian substitute for butter chicken and the best part is, it can also be made gluten and dairy free. 

Words: Kristina Jensen

The fat content is the key to this curry’s great taste, but you can use less oil if you prefer. If you love chillies, leave the seeds in – it depends how hot you like it.

Serves: 4-6
Prep & cooking time: 40 minutes


425g can of lentils
2 large carrots, sliced lengthwise
4 large red kumara, diced into 1cm cubes finely chopped
2 large stalks of celery, cut into chunks
1 red capsicum, cut into chunks
3 cups canned whole tomatoes and juice
1-3 fresh chillies, de-seeded, cut into thin strips or ½-1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 thumb length of fresh root ginger, grated
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
¼ cup oil or butter or coconut oil
4 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 can thick coconut cream
fresh coriander or parsley for garnish


Wash and chop the vegetables. I don’t peel kumara and carrots. Fry the vegetables in the oil in a large pan or heavy-bottomed pot on medium for 10-15 minutes, stirring to keep them cooking evenly.

Add the spices and toss through the vegetables, stirring while they cook for a further 10 minutes. Add a little bit of water if they start sticking together.

Blend the canned whole tomatoes with the chillies, garlic, and ginger. Add to the vegetable-spice mix, along with the drained lentils. Cook for another 5-15 minutes until the kumara is tender, but not falling apart.

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Add the salt, lemon juice, and coconut cream, and simmer for a minute. If the curry has started to get a bit dry, add more water until you have a sauce around the vegetables.


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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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