Coconut Red Lentil Pilaf with lemon, lime & spinach

Serves 3 Prep Time: 45min

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 ¾ cup tinned coconut milk
  • 1 lime, zest and juice plus juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 3⁄4 cups water
  • 1⁄3 cup whole cashews
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)


  1. In a large pot saute the onion in the coconut oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the curry powder, mustard seeds, turmeric and red lentils – cook for another 5 minutes. Stir the lentils frequently, add more oil if necessary.
  3. Mix in the coconut milk, salt, lime/lemon juice and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. If the lentils have absorbed all of the liquid and are still not cooked, add a little water.
  4. Once the lentils are cooked they will break down quite a bit and you’ll have a reasonably thick dahl like consistency. Stir in the cashews and spinach, along with cilantro if using. Give those ingredients about 3 or 4 minutes to warm through and then you’re ready to serve. Garnish with additional cilantro, lime wedges and/or cashews.

Recipe by Jackie DeKnock of Gourmet Safari

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