Recipe: Coconut Red Lentil Curry (with Tofu)

This recipe came from the “Red Lentil Coconut Curry” in Katie Parker’s High-Protein Vegetarian Cookbook: Hearty Dishes that Even Carnivores Will Love with Kristen Smith. I got this cookbook as a gift last year, and little did I know that it would soon be my go-to recipe book! It’s perfect when cooking for other people. So far I’ve made the “Green Monster Pizza with Crispy Kale,” “Protein Powerhouse Veggie Burgers,” and “Whole Wheat Flax Pizza Crust” to name a few. Next up is the “Asian Peanut Broccoli Quinoa”!

I’ve adapted this recipe slightly, adding tofu and swapping a few ingredients. For the most part it’s the same. This dish is flavorful and rich in spices, which is the best part. It contains around twenty-two grams of protein, as well! I highly recommend the High-Protein Vegetarian Cookbook to those who are vegetarian, looking for plant-based protein, or just want some delicious recipes to spice up their life. Once again, it’s written by Katie Parker and Kristen Smith, and this recipe is my revised version of their recipe. It’s vegan and gluten-free!

Coconut Red Lentil Curry with Tofu

Serves about 4


  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, depending on your taste
  • 1 diced shallot
  • 1 cup rinsed red lentils
  • 1 (15-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder (plus more for tofu)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric (plus more for tofu)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (plus more for tofu)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin (plus more for tofu)
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon ground cayenne (plus more for tofu)
  • ¼-½ fine sea salt
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup brown rice (jasmine or basmati recommended)
  • 1 package (~2 cups/14-ounce) diced extra-firm tofu
  • Cilantro, for garnish


Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes, until translucent and softened.

Pour in the lentils, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After, remove the cover and add the curry paste, all spices, and lemon juice. Let simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. You want it thick enough that you see the bottom of the pan when you stir.

While the lentils simmer, cook the rice according to the package directions, which varies depending on the type of rice you use.

With 10 minutes left for the curry mixture to thicken, heat the other tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan. When melted, add the tofu. Stir-fry the tofu, turning the pieces over frequently. Mix the same spices to the tofu as added in the curry, but in a little less portions. The amount is purely to your taste! I like mine with a lot of spices, as tofu is fairly bland on it’s own, but it’s totally up to you.

Once lentils, rice, and tofu are done cooking, serve on plates with rice first, then lentil curry, and tofu on top. Garnish with cilantro, and enjoy!

Note: Don’t be worried about eating this leftover. My mom, the classic chef, always says curry is better the next day, as it allows the flavors to set and deepen 🙂

Brown Rice, Red Lentil Coconut Curry, and Tofu

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