Spicy Lentil Curry with Spinach. Recipe and Food Photography by Shika Finnemore, The Bellephant

Spicy Lentil Curry with Spinach

Lentils are amazingly versatile and you can make up so many different curries with them. This Spicy Lentil Curry with Spinach has a delicious tomato base and is packed full of flavourful spices. Adding in five green chillies on top of hot chilli powder gives it a slight kick to me, however you can always add less if you know it’ll leave your nose running and mouth burning. We all have different spice tolerances after all!

You can really mix this up by adding in any other veggies or your choice with the lentils. Or, if you fancy some fish throw some in towards the last 10-15 minutes. I often do this and have it as more of a bowl of lentil soup.

As I’ve probably mentioned before, Sri Lankan dinners consist of a whole thali (plate) of different curries. If you’re up for making a few dishes; my Coconut Aubergine Curry  and Spicy Roast Veggies will go really well with this. Fancy something meaty? Check out my King Prawn Masala.

If you like this you should also give my Sri Lankan Coconut Lentil Curry a go :).

P.S. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients; it’s super easy to whip up! Once all the ingredients are in the pot you just have to wait for it to cook.

Spicy Lentil Curry with Spinach

Serving Size: 4-8

Spicy Lentil Curry with Spinach


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 800ml water
  • 450g red split lentils
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp hot chilli powder (or however much you want to taste)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • salt to taste
  • 200g spinach, chopped
  • 30g coriander leaves, chopped
  • 200ml coconut cream


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large and deep saucepan.
  2. Fry the cumin and mustard seeds for about 30 seconds until they start to pop, before throwing in the onions.
  3. Cook until they are browned then add in the garlic and chillies and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the water, lentils, chopped tomatoes, ground spices, tomato puree and salt.
  5. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Stir in the spinach, coriander leaves, coconut cream and more salt to taste if needed. Turn off and leave to sit for a few minutes before serving.


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