Indian Spiced Lentils are delicious and easy to make, and if you like Indian food you’ll love this for a vegan lentil side dish! 

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Indian Spiced Lentils in serving dish

I remember the first time I ever tasted lentils, in a soup that was served at a Mexican restaurant where I had my first job. Certainly my mother never cooked them so I have no idea how I became such a lentil fan, but if a recipe contains lentils, it’s pretty much a sure thing I’ll like it.

This favorite recipe for Indian Spiced Lentils is a lentil side dish that I first posted a few years ago as an after-thought added to another recipe. I’ve made this many times since then, and this dish is so tasty and easy-to-make that I finally decided it deserves a post of its own. This week I made it again and took some photos, and I’m officially adding it to recipe favorites on the blog.

What ingredients do you need?

What gives these lentils Indian flavors?

I use onions, garlic, sweet curry powder, and hot curry powder to add Indian flavors to this tasty lentil side dish.

Are lentils high in carbs?

Lentils do have some carbs but they are also high in fiber so this Indian lentil dish only has 10 net carbs for a side dish serving.

Indian Spiced Lentils process shots collage

How to Make Indian Spiced Lentils:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. I’ve become fond of these small lentils from the middle eastern grocery store for dishes where I want the lentils to keep their shape, so that’s what I used, but use plain brown lentils if that’s what you have.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and cook the onions until they’re starting to get some color, about five minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add the curry powder and cook with the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes more.
  4. Then add the lentils and vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, cover pan, and cook until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Start checking after about 30 minutes; it’s done when lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  6. (If you don’t have your stove at a low enough simmer, you may need to add a little more liquid before the lentils are tender. The cooking time of lentils will depend on how old they are; I cooked the lentils in these photos about 38 minutes and then let them sit for 5 minutes with the lid on.)
  7. When lentils are done, chop up a generous amount of parsley. (I used curly parsley, but I think cilantro would also be good in this.)
  8. When lentils are soft but still slightly chewy, stir in parley, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve hot.
  9. This is a perfect dish to make ahead, freeze in individual portions, and take for a grab-and-go lunch for work.

More Tasty Recipes for Lentils:


Mexican Red Lentil Stew

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Lentil Soup with Ground Beef

Slow Cooker Lentils

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Indian Spiced Lentils in serving dish
Yield: 4 servings

Indian Spiced Lentils

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Indian Spiced Lentils are delicious and easy to make and this recipe is also vegan if you care about plant-based eating!


  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. sweet curry powder
  • 1 tsp. hot curry powder (see notes)
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
  • one 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (or less)
  • salt/pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in medium sized heavy pan, add onions, and saute 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add curry powder to onion-garlic mixture and saute about 2 minutes more.
  3. Add lentils and broth plus 1/4 cup water, bring to a low simmer, then cover pan and cook until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed.
  4. Cooking time will depend on how old the lentils are, but after 30 minutes I would start to check every few minutes. You may need to add a little water towards the end if your stove doesn’t keep the simmer low enough. (I cooked the lentils in the photos for 38 minutes and then let them sit about 5 minutes with the lid on.)
  5. When lentils are done (soft but still slightly chewy), remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes while you chop the parsley.
  6. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve hot.


Use more or less hot curry, depending on how spicy you like it. You can also use your favorite curry powder blend instead of the sweet and hot curry powder.

This recipe was adapted from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 486mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Lentils are a great low-glycemic legume, and this recipe for Indian Spiced Lentils is suitable for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. Lentils are somewhat high in carbs for a low-carb diet, but if you check the nutritional information you might be surprised.

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

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