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Potatoes in a curry sauce with lentils, rice and naan, with coriander garnish

Lentil and Potato Curry

A delicious, warming and filling curry, made with green lentils, potatoes and spinach. This vegan and gluten-free curry is great for a tasty weekend dinner.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Diet Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 650kcal


  • Pestle and mortar
  • Large saute pan with tight-fitting lid.


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 medium brown onion peeled cut in half lengthways then sliced.
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon mild chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic (add more if you love garlic) put through a garlic press or minced.
  • 1 x 2 inch piece of ginger peeled then finely grated.
  • 3 medium (410g) waxy potatoes peeled then cut into small bite-size chunks.
  • 1 x 400g (14.5 oz) can of chopped(diced) tomatoes + fill the can half way with water once emptied.
  • 1 x 400g ( 1 x 15oz) can of cooked green lentils drained weight (265g)
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar optional
  • 250 ml (1 x 7oz carton) of coconut cream
  • 70 g (2 firmly packed cups) of baby spinach leaves
  • ½ a medium lemon, the juice of
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper + more if needed


  • Tap the cardamon pods with the pestle to open the pods. Remove the seeds.
    Heat a dry pan over low heat, add the cardamom seeds, 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds.
    Toast the seeds until they release their aromas, toss them often in the pan. Be careful not to burn the seeds. Tip the seeds into a mortar.
  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan.
    Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is softened.
  • While the onion is cooking crush the seeds in the mortar using the pestle, they don't need to be a powder just roughly crushed will do.
    Peel and chop the potatoes. Grate the ginger and put the garlic through a garlic press.
  • Once the onions have softened, add the ginger and garlic, cook for a minute then add the spices from the mortar and the remaining ground spices (1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, ½ a teaspoon mild chilli powder, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves).
    Cook for a minute then add the potatoes to the pan. Toss the potatoes to ensure they are covered in the spices.
    Next pour in the tomatoes. Fill the can up with water and add that to the pan too. Add the remaining salt and black pepper, and stir well.
    Pop the lid on the pan and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stirring often.
  • After 20-25 minutes pour the lentils into the pan, stir them into the sauce.
    Now slowly pour the coconut cream into the curry stirring all the time.
    Once the coconut cream has been added simmer the sauce without the lid on for another 15 minutes, make sure to stir the curry often now as the lentils can drop to the bottom of the pan and stick to it. The sauce should be thick now. If it isn't thick enough simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Check the seasoning now and add more salt if needed.
    If you are using the sugar add it in now.
    Now add the spinach, stir in one handful at a time, once the spinach has wilted repeat until you have added all the spinach. Stir in the jucie of half a lemon now.
    Once the spinach has wilted and the potatoes are cooked the curry is ready.
    Serve with a garnish of coriander (cilantro), rice, chapati or naan.


  • Recipe Inspiration - This recipe is roughly adapted from Melissa Hemsley's recipe for New Potato and Lentil Coconut Curry. I made the following changes: left out the curry leaves, changed the spice quantities slightly and added garam masala, used less garlic, swapped tomato puree for a can of chopped tomatoes, swapped red lentils for green, swapped coconut milk for coconut cream, left out the stock and swapped new potatoes for regular and added spinach.
  • Spices - If you can't find some of the whole spices in your local store you can substitute them for the round version. Except for the cardamom seeds.
  • Leftovers -  Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. I usually reheat this in the hob or in the microwave. You may need to add some water to the curry to loosen it up a bit.
  • Freezing - If we do have any leftovers you can freeze them once cooled. But, there may be some changes in the potatoes when your reheat them. I find the potatoes a little grainy after freezing so I tend not to freeze this dish.
  • Heat - If you want to make this curry hotter I would add a finely chopped green chilli to the pan when you add the garlic and ginger.
  • Nutritional information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It does not include rice, naan or chapati.
  • Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.


Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 89.7g | Protein: 25.3g | Fat: 24.7g | Saturated Fat: 14.8g | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 2083mg | Fiber: 28.1g | Sugar: 9.5g | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 10mg