Instant Pot lentil curry is a hearty, delicious, healthy and extremely easy lentil curry that comes together in a flash. You can make this on the stove top too!
Why make this Instant Pot lentil curry?
It’s so quick and convenient! You sauté some of the ingredients briefly, before adding the remainder of the ingredients and the water. 10 minutes of high pressure cooking and you’ve got yourself a delicious curry!
It’s full of warm and comforting spices, but it’s not so overpowering that it can’t be enjoyed by kids. This is actually not spicy at all, and my kids devoured it, but feel free to add some chili powder or cayenne pepper.
It’s the perfect dish for cooler weather. So comforting.
It’s seriously healthy. Packed full of goodness, high in protein and low in carbs, this is totally guilt free and will keep you full for hours.
What ingredients go in a lentil curry?
Lentils: I used orange lentils, which break down more in the instant pot and give that creamy texture that’s pictured. You can use brown or green lentils too, and that’ll give more of a bite to the actual lentils.
Olive Oil: for sauteeing the onions, garlic and ginger which add so much flavor and aromatics to the curry.
Spices: I used whole cardamom and cloves, and powdered curry, cinnamon, basil, cumin, turmeric and salt and pepper. Please feel free to switch any of these spices out, or add more or less. Just taste and adjust however you like!
Diced Tomatoes: I used canned to make this even easier.
Spinach: I went for frozen, but you can also throw in a few handful of fresh baby spinach
Water: Enough water for all the veggies to be evenly covered. You could add vegetable stock or chicken stock instead.
How to make instant pot lentil curry:
This is basically divided into two phases, the sauté phase and the pressure cook phase.
Once the Instant Pot is on sauté mode, heat the olive oil and we add the onions and soften. Then, the garlic, ginger and all the spices go in for another minute or so until fragrant.
Next, add all the remaining ingredients. Lentils, spinach, diced tomatoes and water. Give a quick stir to combine, then close the lid of the Instant Pot (make sure the valve is set to seal) and turn onto high pressure for 10 minutes.
This will lead to a smooth, almost blended curry. If you want the lentils to remain intact you can experiment with a shorter cook time, but this was exactly the creamy, thick texture I was going for.
What to serve with lentil curry:
I like fluffy basmati rice, and when I’m feeling extra fancy (and I was when I made this) homemade naan bread is definitely the way to go.
It’s so much easier than you think, and theres nothing like fresh pan cooked bubbly warm naan to dunk into curry that really elevates a meal. Click here for the naan recipe.
You could also serve this with brown rice to make it a little healthier.
How to make this lentil curry on the stovetop:
Don’t have an Instant Pot? No problem! You can easily make this on a stovetop.
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, sautee the olive oil, onions, garlic ginger and spices as directed.
Add the water, lentils, spinach, and diced tomatoes, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat slightly and simmer until lentils have cooked, around 25 minutes. Open the lid, taste for and adjust seasoning, and enjoy!
How to store leftover lentil curry:
Store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or freeze for 2 to 3 months. You can thaw frozen curry overnight in the fridge.
The curry will thicken as they cool, so to reheat, add a splash of water, and rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding more liquid as needed.
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
And for more great Instant Pot recipes:
Instant Pot Lentil Curry
- Instant Pot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- pinch black pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz, 400 g
- 1/2 bag frozen spinach 5 oz or 140 g
- 2 cups lentils 450 g
- 4 cups water
- Turn the Instant Pot on to saute mode, and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and ginger, and all the spices and saute for another minute or until fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes, lentils, frozen spinach, and water. Stir to combine, and turn the instant pot to pressure cook on high. Make sure the valve is sealed, and cook for 10 minutes.
- One cooking time is over, Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then vent any remaining pressure and open the Instant pot. Stir to combine again, and enjoy hot!
Instant Pot Lentil Curry by everylittlecrumb on Jumprope.