Ground Meat & Red Lentil Curry
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Ground Meat & Red Lentil Curry

"Much like kale, my family loved lentils before they were cool."


Curry Spice Blend

  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric (or use 1-inch piece fresh, peeled and minced, when adding fresh garlic and ginger)

  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes or Aleppo pepper

  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns

  • ½ tsp. cardamom seeds (from about 8 whole pods)

  • ⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ⅛ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Lentil Curry

  • 1 cup dried red lentils

  • 2 tbsp. olive or canola oil

  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 piece ginger (1 inch), peeled and minced or grated

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 lb. ground lamb or beef

  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire or fish sauce

  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

  • Thinly sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and full-fat yogurt, for serving (optional)


Step 1

For the Curry Spice Blend, toast all whole spices in a small dry pan for 2 minutes over medium heat until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder and process until finely ground. Combine ground spices into a mix.

Step 2

Rinse lentils. In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Salt water and stir in the lentils. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, until softened, then add ginger and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add lamb, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon; add the curry spice blend. Cook, stirring, until spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of water. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until thickened and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in lentils.

Step 4

Serve in shallow bowls with toppings of choice.

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