Kalyn's Kitchen

Curried Rice and Red Lentils

Curried Rice and Red Lentils is a delicious side dish or a meatless main dish, and because you use vegetable stock this recipe is vegan. 

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Curried Rice and Red Lentils found on KalynsKitchen.com

This dish combining Curried Rice and Red Lentils is an old favorite that I recently I made with Jake, and we both loved how the simple combination of ingredients creates so much flavor. And since the combination of lentils (or beans) and rice are famous in vegetarian cooking for the way they create a complete protein, it really is a recipe that’s perfect for meatless meals.

This was another one of those recipes I loved from Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes in the World (affiliate link) and when Jake and I cooked it the only change we made was to use stock to cook the lentil-rice combination instead of water.  And since we’re using vegetarian stock that would makes this recipe vegan. Of course I liked the garnish of cilantro, but  if you’re not a cilantro fan I think some sliced green onions or parsley would be nice. 

What kind of lentils did we use?

There are many types of lentils, but it’s important to use red lentils in this dish, so they’ll be done in the 20 minutes it takes for the rice to cook. Here is a good reference about various types of lentils. Hope you enjoy trying this easy recipe that’s loaded with flavor!

Curried Rice and Red Lentils found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Curried Rice and Red Lentils:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy flat pan with a tight-fitting lid; then cook the onions until they’re starting to get nicely browned on the edges. (This browning adds a lot of flavor, so don’t rush it.)
  2. Then add the curry powder and saute it for 1-2 minutes, until it’s very fragrant.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and let it come to a boil; then stir in the rice and red lentils. 
  4. Bring it back to a boil, then reduce the heat to the barest possible simmer and let cook covered for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes check to see if rice and lentils are done and all the water is absorbed. Ours was completely perfect, but if needed cook uncovered for a few minutes more. 
  6. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Make it a Meal:

For a meatless meal, I would love this with Amazing Asian Green Salad or Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad on the side.

More Tasty Ideas with Red Lentils:

Mexican Red Lentil Stew from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato Soup from Andrea Meyers
Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Seven Red Lentil Soup Recipes from Soup Chick
Indian-Style Red Lentils with Ginger from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Black Quinoa and Red Lentil Salad with Parsley from Healthy Green Kitchen

Curried Rice and Red Lentils

Curried Rice and Red Lentils

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Curried Rice and Red Lentils is a delicious vegan side dish or meatless main dish.


  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 T curry powder (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice (see notes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (see notes)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. Put the oil in a large, heavy pan with a tight lid and heat for one minute.
  2. Add onion and saute 3-5 minutes, until starting to brown on the edges.
  3. Add curry powder and saute 1 minute, then add water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add lentils and rice, bring back to a boil, then lower heat to a steady simmer and cover.
  5. Cook 20 minutes, or until rice is done and lentils are tender. (Mark Bittman says if the liquid is not all absorbed, boil off the excess, but after 20 minutes all my water had been absorbed.)
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro if desired.
  8. I haven’t tried freezing it, but my prediction would be that this freezes well.


I used Uncle Ben's Converted Rice (affiliate link) which has the lowest Glycemic Index of any white rice. I'm a fan of curry powder from Penzeys, and I used a mix of sweet and hot curry powder. You can use two cans vegetable broth and add a little water to make 3 cups.

Recipe adapted from The Best Recipes in the World (affiliate link) by Mark Bittman.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 434mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Curried Rice and Red Lentils would be suitable for phase two or three of the original South Beach Diet, if you use Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice as mentioned above. Lentils are considered a “good carb” for South Beach, but this would be too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes to find more recipes like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Curried Rice and Red Lentils

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    44 Comments on “Curried Rice and Red Lentils”

  1. Yes, I do think it will freeze well. In fact, I'm adding that to the recipe right now!

  2. Do you think this would freeze well? I'm afraid it would make too much for me.

  3. I won't tell anyone if you add chicken, but I promise this is pretty satisfying as a meatless meal.

  4. Kalyn, it has been too long since I had a chance to catch up with my favorites. MY oh MY does that look and sound perfect. Such beautiful colors.

    The meat lover in me wants to add some sort of chicken, but this is just spectacularly delicious sounding.

  5. Ken, thank you SO MUCH! I am always so annoyed with myself when I do things like that but I'm ultra thankful when someone else catches it! Will fix right now.

  6. Hi Kalyn, just a nit, but for those of us easily confused, under the pic of the ONIONS browning, you have "Heat the oil in a heavy flat pan with a tight-fitting lid; then saute the rice until it's starting to get nicely browned on the edges." Otherwise, looks great!

  7. Zesty, the red lentils are delicious and they cook really quickly.

  8. It's nice to see a different kind of dish appear on food blogs. This looks delicious, and I like that it is vegetarian. I've never cooked with red lentils before (only green), but I"ll definitely give this a try 🙂

  9. Thanks Dara! Sadly I gave Jake the leftovers, so I didn't get to have it for lunch.

  10. Kalyn, this is exactly the kind of dish I could eat every day for lunch. Full of protein, full of spices and so comforting.

  11. Thanks Maria. This was definitely very tasty.

  12. Great dish for Meatless Monday!

  13. Hey Kalyn,
    It’s wonderful to see you prepare Indian Food and it looks absolutely mouthwatering- the rice and lentil mix is also called Khichdi, which was my entry into the FMR event. Glad to hear that WHB is back to it’s own home for this weekend, will surely send an entry! Looking forward to the breakfast recipe from you…

  14. okay. I think the most interesting part is the low glycemic part about the rice. I had not idea! That is great information for me bc I have PCOS.

  15. Sher, I love the book. I know it’s not the most authentic book for many cuisines, but it’s quite close I think. Everything I’ve booked from it has been excellent.

    Paz, thanks for hosting, and thanks.

    Sumitha, thanks for your nice words about my humble attempt, and especially for taking time to help me learn a little more about Indian cooking.

  16. Hi Kalyn!
    I am an Indian and I must appreciate you for your attempt.It indeed looks lovely!I would like to mention few points here,

    there is no need to feel guilty that you have used butter instead of ghee,we too do substitute butter for ghee sometimes if we have run out of stock.The flavour difference is only very subtle!Afterall ghee is made by melting and clarifying butter!

    Secondly it is actually a misconception that all Indian dishes use ghee,being health conscious now, most Indian families use ghee only for special occasions and in day to day cooking we use any vegetable oil like peanut oil or some even switch to olive oil.

    There is no problem if you call it lentils or pulses,nothing wrong with it.You know that India is a vast country with different states,it is referred to as Dal mainly in the Northern states where as it is known by different names in other languages like Bele in Kannada,Parippu in Tamil and Malayalam!

    Coming to curry powder,yes most Indian families prepare their own powders.Although even this trend is changing.

    I have wriiten quite a long comment Kalyn I am sorry for that,it is just because I wanted you to feel no gulit in the way you have prepared.It is a great step to reach your goal

  17. How delicious-looking and sounding! I like Mark Bittman’s recipes. I think this is a great way to get started on preparing more Indian dishes! I love that you’re able to adapt this recipe to The South Beach Diet for those who follow it. Really cool!

    Thanks, Kalyn!


  18. I love Indian recipes and am trying to learn more of them, which is much easier due to all the fabulous Indian blogs. The rice and lentils look wonderful–and I’ve been meaning to get the Mark Bittman book

  19. Mae, that’s exactly how I feel! I love to read all those blogs and many more (Anthony’s Kitchen, Mahanandi and One Hot Stove especially come to mind, but there are many more and I hope I’m not offending anyone that I’m forgetting to mention) but when I read the ingredients there are always a few things that I don’t have (or don’t even know what they are!) One of my friends just brought me a jar of Biryani Curry Paste that I’m going to try soon, although I know that no proper Indian cook would use curry paste from a jar!

  20. Kalyn, the rice looks delish! Like you, i have to admit, am a little intimidated with the list of ingredients in indian cooking. Though i love to eat the lovely dishes, and there’s so many mouthwatering dishes on display in Sailu’s, Meena’s and My Dhaba’s blogs [too many to name!] as soon as i go through the list of ingredients, somehow, i lose confidence… i must pluck up some courage too one of these days!