This Red Lentil Curry is SO delicious and can be made in just 30 minutes. This is a Thai-inspired curry that is made with Thai red curry paste, soy sauce and a touch of maple syrup for a curry that is perfectly balanced in taste!

Red lentil curry in a white ceramic bowl with a linen napkin on the side

Have you ever tried Lentil Dal before? It’s a traditional Indian curry dish that’s made with red lentils and an assortment of spices.

This recipe for Red Lentil Curry is a similar dish but is made with Thai flavours. The texture of this curry is thicker than soup, almost like a thick and hearty stew.

Red lentils are one of my favourite types of lentils to cook with for their light flavour, and they’re unique texture compared to other lentils. While other lentils tend to hold their shape more and have more of an al dente bite to them, red lentils when cooked up have a soft and creamy texture when cooked down. They’re really the perfect lentil to use for a delicious curry!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • The combination of Thai red curry paste, soy sauce, maple syrup and a hint of lime gives this curry those sweet, salty, spicy and sour notes which creates some amazing flavour in the dish.
  • This curry is easy to make with 12 simple ingredients and comes together in 30 minutes. Perfect for those busy weeknights!
  • Red lentils are loaded with protein and fibre, so this recipe is filling and makes a great vegetarian meal.

How to make Red Curry Lentils

Add some oil to your pot and then add in the onions, ginger and garlic and cook them down for 2 minutes until the onions are translucent. Then add in the celery and carrot and let everything cook down for 5 minutes.

A white pot filled with cooked carrots, celery and onions

Rinse the lentils and then add them to the pot along with the curry paste an seasoning, mixing everything together. Then add the broth and bring it all to a boil before turning it to low and letting it simmer for about 15 minutes.

A white pot filled with vegetables and red lentils

Once the lentils are soft and tender to your liking, the curry is done! You can top it off with some fresh cilantro and chilli flakes if you like. Enjoy it on its own or serve it with some rice.

A white pot filled with red lentil curry

How long do you cook red lentils?

Red lentils are a bit different in texture than green or black lentils and have a softer texture. They can become mushy if overcooked. (Though this “mushy” texture is great in recipes like Dal) Red lentils are best cooked for about 15-20 minutes.

In this recipe, if you prefer your lentils with more of a bite to them, only cook for about 10 minutes.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Rinse your lentils before adding them to the pot. Red lentils can have a bit of a bitter taste to them if they’re not properly rinsed. Rinse them in a strainer until the water runs clear.
  • Make sure not to cook the veggies on too high of a heat. You don’t want them to brown too much, so medium heat or medium-high heat (depending on your stove) is best.
  • Start with 1 tbsp of red curry paste and then add more at the end if needed. Some brands of curry paste may be spicier than others, so if you don’t like it too spicy it’s best to start with less and add more if needed. Also, remember to check the label of the red curry you buy to make sure it’s vegetarian!
a close up of a bowl of red lentil curry topped with parsley

More lentil recipes to try

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Red lentil curry in a white ceramic bowl with a linen napkin on the side

Red Lentil Curry

  • Author: Jess
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Thai


This red lentil curry is SO tasty and comes together in under 30 minutes for a delicious healthy vegetarian dinner! 



  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1-inch cube ginger, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed 
  • 12 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 tsp lime juice 
  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot on medium-high heat then add the onion ginger and garlic and let cook for 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes until all the veggies are tender. 
  3. Add in the lentils, red curry paste, maple syrup, soy sauce lime juice and vegetable broth and mix together. 
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender. 
  5. Serve with fresh cilantro.


Don’t cook the veggies on too high heat. You don’t want them to brown too much. Cook on medium-high or if your stove runs hot on medium heat. 

Make sure to rinse the lentils well before adding them to the curry. Red lentils can be bitter if they are not properly rinsed. Rinse them in a strainer until the water runs clear. 

Start with 1 tbsp of red curry paste then add more as needed. Some brands may be spicer than others, so if you don’t like it too spicy, start with less and add more as needed. 


  • Serving Size: 1/6th recipe
  • Calories: 184
  • Sugar: 4.5g
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 10.5g
  • Protein: 9g

Keywords: how to make red lentil curry, curry with red lentils, vegan curry with lentils

If you tried this Red Lentil Curry or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!