Thai-Inspired Red Lentil Curry

Red lentil curry is the perfect all-season, one-pot meal that's soothing to the stomach, with coconut milk, fresh ginger, and turmeric.

This week I rediscovered this classic recipe for red lentil curry. It came from my friend Alison Charbonneau’s new cookbook Everyday Recipes For Your Candida Diet.

When Alison agreed to be my guest on Cooking Together Live, my Wednesday lunchtime Facebook cooking show, we chose to make the Thai Spiced Lentil Soup recipe from Alison’s cookbook. It’s the perfect all-season, one-pot meal that’s great for using up veggies you have in your fridge.

When making the soup, it turned into more of a curry than a soup, as I made it thick and creamy rather than soupy. And because it has Thai red curry paste I changed the name to Thai-Inspired Red Lentil Curry.

In addition to onions, carrots, and celery, I added some butternut squash and yellow squash, as I wanted to use them up and it would make the dish a little lighter (which is good for the warm weather we’re having).

Thai-Inspired Red Lentil Curry • Cook Love Heal by Rachel Zierzow

Alison’s cookbook, Everyday Recipes For Your Candida Diet, is a wonderful book of recipes designed to restore gut health. Although I don’t have to follow a candida diet per se, taking care of your gut health is important for me and just about everyone I know.

Alison’s recipes are nutrient-dense, with lots of vegetables and other whole foods, and free of gluten,  dairy, and refined sugar. Check out the free recipes on her web site to get started. You’ll probably notice a lot of similarities in our philosophies of cooking and diet – we are both trained in macrobiotic and Ayurvedic cooking and have had many of the same teachers!

Every Day Recipes For Your Candida Diet by Alison Charbonneau

Compare Alison’s recipe below with the other red lentil curry on my blog, Kabocha Squash and Red Lentil Curry, which I created for a curry cook-off a few years ago. My curry is slightly different, with kabocha squash, sweet potatoes, and fennel, and a little cayenne pepper instead of red curry paste. They are both delicious!

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Thai-Inspired Red Lentil Curry• Cook Love Heal by Rachel Zierzow

Thai-Inspired Red Lentil Curry

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  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled and minced OR 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 cup celery, small dice
  • 1 cup carrots, small dice
  • 1 cup zucchini or yellow squash, small dice (optional)
  • 1 cup butternut or kabocha squash, small dice (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, washed and picked through for debris
  • 12 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • spring or filtered water
  • 2 cups kale or swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced, for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish


  1. In a large soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic, turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon salt,, cinnamon, cumin, and black pepper. Sauté 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add celery, carrots, and zucchini and squash (if using). Sauté for about 3 minutes or more.
  4. Add coconut milk, red lentils, curry paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and enough water to just barely cover the ingredients. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
  5. Finally, stir in kale or chard. Turn off heat and check for seasonings. Add a little more salt if needed.
  6. Serve over rice with cilantro and a wedge of lime.


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