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Kill a Cold Lentil Curry with Kale & Red Peppers

Lentil Curry with Kale & Red Peppers

Curry, Dinner, Vegan, World Cuisine | 13th October 2016 | By

A delicious and comforting spicy lentil curry. It’s perfect for the cold, dark and wet winter months. Packed full of nutrients, this kill a cold lentil curry can help ward off or alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu.

CT has a cold and I can feel a sore throat coming. In a bid to alleviate CT’s symptoms and stop myself from developing the cold, I’m turning to my all time favourite comfort food, dhal. In this instance it’s made with split red lentils, but pretty much any pulse will do. So for National Curry Week, I give you this Kill a Cold Lentil Curry with Kale & Red Peppers. Whether it will stop a cold in its tracks remains to be seen, but it’s a killer for flavour and full on satisfaction.

Dhal or Dal if you Prefer

Lentil curry is such a versatile dish. I make it a lot and it’s different each time. Fry the onions and spices first, then add the lentils and cook. Cook the lentils first then add the fried onions at the end. Throw in your favourite spices. Use coconut milk or not. You can also include whichever vegetables you have to hand or just cook it plain.

One of the most memorable lentil dhals I ever had was back in my student days. I was an active member of the local Friends of the Earth group and some of us used to meet at a lovely Indian gentleman’s house. Back in the day, he had accompanied Satish Kumar on part of his 8,000 mile Peace Walk around India and then on to Moscow, Paris, London and Washington in a bid to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He always cooked us a lentil curry and chucked in what ever vegetables happened to be in season, including Brussels sprouts. It was always delicious.

My mother has been a big curry fan ever since her student days in Edinburgh. When I was young, it was always lentil curry with plenty of garlic she turned to at the slightest sign of a sniffle. I loved it then and love it now.

Lentil Curry with Kale & Red Peppers

Kill a Cold Lentil Curry

For this kill a cold lentil curry, I’ve included lots of garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric, all of which strengthen the immune system. Nutrient rich kale and red peppers can only make things better. I served the dhal with brown basmati rice and some yoghurt. Everything was organic for additional nutrition and mineral content. Two of the ingredients we grew ourselves. Our gardening endeavours this year have been highly unsuccessful. Pretty much everything we planted has been eaten by wildlife of one sort or another. Our garlic crop, which we’ve kept going for over ten years now was thankfully untouched. Another stalwart is our tree kale, but any kale would be good.

National Curry Week

As well as this being National Curry Week, it’s also National Rice Week and International Year of Pulses. So my lentil curry served with brown basmati rice hits all three. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also National Chocolate Week and you’ll find my post to celebrate this event coming very soon.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this kill a cold lentil curry, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

If you like my lentil curry recipe, why not pin it for later?

Lentil Curry

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Kill a Cold Lentil Curry – The Recipe

Lentil Curry with Kale and Red Peppers
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5 from 1 vote

Kill a Cold Lentil Curry or Dhal

A delicious and comforting spicy lentil curry. Packed full of nutrients, it can help ward off or alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: curry, dhal, healthy, lentils, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Author: Choclette


  • 8 oz red split lentils - soaked in water if possible
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 large cloves garlic - peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 3 cm sq lump of root ginger - peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli - deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder (I used Steenburg's)
  • ½-1 tsp sea salt according to taste
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • 1 400 g tin coconut milk
  • 1 red pepper - desseeded and roughly chopped
  • handful of kale - washed and roughly chopped.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - peeled and finely sliced
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds (also known as kalonji) or black mustard seeds


  • Rinse the lentils well. Place in a large pan with the bay leaf and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft and have collapsed.
  • After ten minutes add the garlic, spices, salt, pepper and vegetables. You may need to add a little more water at this stage if the lentils are looking dry. Stir and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further few minutes until everything is cooked to perfection.
  • Meanwhile fry the onions gently in the coconut oil for 15 minutes or so until they have caramelised.
  • Add the cumin and kalonji seeds after the first 5 minutes and stir from time to time.
  • Just before serving, stir half of the onions into the dhal, then scatter the rest over the top.


Soaking the lentils and rice for at least an hour prior to cooking reduces the cooking time. The longer they soak, the less cooking is required.
Cooking lentils with a bay leaf is meant to make them more digestible.
Serve with rice or flat breads and yoghurt if liked.


I’m sending my kill a cold lentil curry to Jac at  Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays. And, as I made enough for two nights running, I’m also sending my dhal to Corina at Searching for Spice for Cook Once Eat Twice.


  1. Cathy @ Planet Veggie

    13th October 2016 at 11:14 am

    I always eat spicy food when I’ve got a cold – I’m a firm believer that it cures it. Although, my main go-to is a chilli pizza with a can of Coke, so possibly a tad unhealthier than your curry 😉

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Cathy, you’ve really made me giggle. Just what I need at the moment.

  2. Chris @thinlyspread

    13th October 2016 at 11:19 am

    A good, spicy, warm you to the bones curry is very hard to beat and I too always turn to dahl when someone is under the weather! Thanks so much for linking to my baked bean curry – your student stories made me smile, baked bean curry was the first thing H cooked for me when we were students!

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:51 pm

      Oh, I can see the attachment to baked bean curry now. Although it sounds very good in its own right. Dahl is an excellent story teller, so a great writer to turn to when feeling ill 😉

  3. Eb Gargano /

    13th October 2016 at 12:09 pm

    YUM! Love a good lentil curry, and this one certainly does look like a good one 🙂 Eb x

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Eb. I can’t resist lentil curry!

  4. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    13th October 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Warming, comforting and delicious! I love this lentil curry.

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you Angie. Thankfully, so did I as we had it two evenings on the trot.

  5. Corina

    13th October 2016 at 2:17 pm

    This looks like the perfect curry for when you’re feeling a little under the weather and it’s making me hungry for my own vegetable curry tonight which is sitting in the slow cooker as I write! I do love all the colours in this one too. Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks Corina. Great minds and all that or maybe it’s just the curry season 🙂

  6. Helen @

    13th October 2016 at 2:20 pm

    It looks incredible! I love lentils, especially now it’s getting colder, they’re so filling and warming. Yum.

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Helen. Lentils are just brilliant and they make for a nice cheap meal too.

  7. Janice

    13th October 2016 at 6:27 pm

    That certainly should warm you up and hopefully keep the cold away!

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks Janice – feeling OK so far *searches desperately for some wood*.

  8. Charlie @ The Kitchen Shed

    13th October 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Love the name of this. I used to make a ‘cure a cold soup’ so I shall have to try this curry too!

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Ooh, what was in your cure a cold soup Charlie?

  9. Camilla Hawkins

    13th October 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Love the ingredients in this curry and perfect for autumn going into winter. Crossing fingers I don’t catch a cold any time soon!

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:38 pm

      Indeed not Camilla, colds are horrid things and flu a lot worse. Crossing fingers, but this seems to have worked.

  10. Katie

    14th October 2016 at 2:34 am

    I love lentil curry! I first made it from a red lentil curry recipe in Food 52’s “Genius Recipes” cookbook. Looks like it would certainly take out a cold.

    • Choclette

      14th October 2016 at 2:36 pm

      It’s amazing stuff Katie. Crossing fingers, but it looks as though it might have worked.

  11. Dom

    15th October 2016 at 8:10 am

    I’m sorry CT isn’t feel well, I too am on the brink, I can just tell! This curry would be a perfect cure. I love Dhal. I love the way it’s heady aroma hits you in the back of the throat. I need some of this now… right, off to the shops!

    • Choclette

      15th October 2016 at 10:50 am

      Make some quick Dom. CT’s cold didn’t hit him nearly as bad as it often does and I have managed to stave it off – so far! Lots of finger crossing going on.

  12. Jacqueline Meldrum

    16th October 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I love dal, we eat it a lot. This is quite similar to my spinach and coconut dal but I use cumin, ginger and coriander instead of curry powder. I love all your toppings. Hope it worked. My tip, try taking zinc tablets every day. It builds your immune system. It’s a good top up.

    • Choclette

      18th October 2016 at 10:07 am

      Dhal is such a brilliant vegetarian standby with the added bonus of it being vegan too. Thanks of the zinc tip. i’m not too keen on taking tablets, but will research what I can eat to get more zinc into our diets.

  13. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    19th October 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Most definitely the perfect comfort food and even if it doesn’t cure the cold, it will certainly make you feel loved!
    I can confirm Jacqueline’s tip about zinc above. I usually take it through the winter and it definitely cuts down the number of infections….. Unfortunately this year I managed to have the most hideous flu-type bug which lasted the best part of the month and started in September (before the time when I usually hit the zinc)! x

    • Choclette

      20th October 2016 at 9:04 am

      Ah that’s interesting Kate. Maybe I should get CT onto the Zinc. He’s the one that tends to suffer more than me. I’ve managed to avoid the cold, but CT has had his for nearly 2 weeks ago. However, he’s not suffering with it nearly as badly as he often does. We’ve upped our intake of turmeric and other spices a lot in the last few weeks. Sorry to hear you had nearly a month of it. We were both completely knocked out with flue a couple of years ago and it lasted a month – horrible.

  14. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    31st October 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Oh wow this curry looks and sounds amazing! This is going on my to try list! x #cookonceeattwice

    • Choclette

      31st October 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks Kirsty, it’s one of my go to dishes 🙂

  15. Monika Dabrowski

    14th November 2016 at 12:33 pm

    This dish looks so delicious and is full of goodness, which for me is an ideal combination when it comes to food:)

    • Choclette

      15th November 2016 at 11:52 am

      I’m with you there Monika, there’s nothing quite like good food cooked well. Thank you 🙂


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