This creamy Black Lentil Curry recipe is inspired by the popular Indian Dal Makhani but made vegan with coconut milk, beluga lentils, and healthy veggies. It is loaded with flavorful spices and has a wonderful thick texture, making it to one of the best curry dishes you ever had!
Creamy Vegan Black Lentil Curry
When I‘m in the mood for comfort food, a deliciously creamy nourishing curry is always perfect! I really love my yellow lentil soup and my Indian red lentil dal from my cookbook “Vegan Foodporn” so today I wanted to share another curry made with black lentils.
Black Lentils (Urad Dal, Beluga Lentils)
Black lentils are also called “beluga lentils” here in Germany but in some countries, they’re also known as “urad dal”. They’re slightly different than the red, brown, yellow or green lentils you may already tired but they’re really amazing! What I love about them is that they don’t fall apart or turn into mush like other lentils when you cook them longer. Furthermore, they have a rich, deep and earthy flavor so they’re perfect for savory curries!
Where can I buy them?
Black lentils can be found in almost any supermarkets, Indian stores or be easily ordered online (click here).
Vegan Indian Dal Makhani
This vegan curry recipe is actually inspired by the flavorful Dal Makhani which is a very popular dish from north India. While the traditional Dal Makhani is made with rich butter and cream, I made mine healthier by using only vegan plant-based ingredients.
For the butter, I used coconut oil and for the cream, I used coconut milk. Also, I’ve added healthy vegetables, such as strained tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach for more vitamins! So this vegan black lentil curry is not only dairy-free and lighter than the original but also as delicious!
How to make Black Lentil Curry
Making this lentil dal curry recipe is super quick and easy! Start to heat the coconut oil or another plant-based oil you like. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger and carrots and sauté until slightly browned. Next, add the spicy curry paste and black lentils and sauté for another 1-2 minutes to unfold flavors.
Pour in vegetable broth, strained tomatoes (or passata) and coconut milk and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Then, add sweet potatoes or other vegetables of choice, such as pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower or whatever veggies you have on hand. Cook for another 15 minutes, or until the curry is thick and creamy and the veggies are tender.
I also like to add some fresh spinach in the end, however, this is just optional. Feel free to garnish your vegan black lentil curry with chopped parsley or coriander, sesame seeds and a swirl of dairy-free yogurt. For a fresh flavor, I suggest drizzling a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice over your dal.
This Indian Black Lentil Dal is:
- Vegan (Meat-free, dairy-free)
- Easy to make
- Rich & Creamy
- Perfect for lunch, dinner, meal prep or as a side dish!
What can you eat with Dal?
I usually serve curry and dal dishes over rice, mashed potatoes or with vegan naan bread. However, this creamy curry can be also used as filling for quesadillas, burrito samosas, tortilla wraps or savory scallion pancakes. Of course, you can also serve the curry on its own like a thick, spicy, flavorful soup or stew if you prefer.
Looking for more vegan lentil or curry recipes? If so, make sure to check out the following:
- Lentil Meatballs in Indian Curry Sauce
- Vegan Lentil Zucchini Lasagna
- Sweet Potato Lentil Fritters
- Vegan Lentil Bolognese
- Cauliflower Tikka Masala
If you do try this Vegan Indian Black Lentil Curry Recipe, please leave me a comment below sharing how you liked it! And if you take a photo of your creamy Lentil Dal and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Happy cooking!
Black Lentil Curry (Vegan Indian Dal)
For the Curry
- 1 tbsp coconut oil for frying
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 2 small carrots cut into slices or cubes
- 1 ½ tbsp curry paste or curry powder or spice mix (*see notes)
- 1 ½ cups beluga lentils
- 1 14 oz can strained tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- 2 ⅓ cup vegetable broth
- 1 sweet potato cut into cubes
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp lime juice or to taste
* See step-by-step photos in my blog post above!
- Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger and carrots and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the curry paste, black lentils and sauté for another minute. Then add strained tomatoes, coconut milk and 1 cup of the vegetable broth. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook covered for about 20-25 minutes while stirring occasionally and adding the remaining broth gradually.
- Add the sweet potato cubes and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender and the curry is thick and creamy. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Add spinach and cook for a further minute until wilted as desired. (If the curry is too thick, add more water to thin).
- Spice mix: If you have no curry paste or curry powder, you can also make your own spice mix with 1 ½ tsp garam masala + 1-2 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp ground coriander.
- Storage & freezing: Store leftover curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for the future.
- Can I use other lentils? Please read my blog post for further information on this recipe.
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