Recipe by Nisha Vora

Red Lentil Almond Curry (Instant Pot)

Red Lentil Almond Curry (Instant Pot) add or remove this to/from your favorites
Parve Parve
Easy Easy
4 Servings


- Tree nuts

My recipe for red lentil almond curry is one of my most popular, and each time someone makes the recipe, she usuall adds “I can’t believe this is vegan!” I can’t blame them, as I had the same thoughts the first time I made this dish. It’s one of the few recipes I make on a regular basis but still dream about. It’s aromatic, perfectly spiced, and coconut-y. And despite its decadent taste, it packs in a lot of nutrition from the lentils and anti-inflammatory trio of ginger, turmeric and garlic.


This curry is particularly amazing when eaten Indian-style – ditch the utensils and use your hand to fold a piece of naan or roti over the curry and eat the whole morsel in one scoop. It tastes better this way, trust me, and is a full sensory experience.


Red Lentil Almond Curry

  • 2 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 2 medium carrots

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or 4 cubes Gefen Frozen Garlic

  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced

  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers, to taste, diced (seeded and membranes removed for less heat)

  • 1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon Gefen Cumin or other ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon Indian red chile powder or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 and 1/2 cups water

  • 1 cup Gefen Red Lentils, rinsed

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons no-added-sugar almond butter, such as Gefen Almond Butter

  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

  • juice of 1/2 lemon (or about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Heaven & Earth Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

For Serving (Optional)

  • cooked white basmati rice

  • naan or roti

  • homemade or store-bought coconut yogurt


Prepare the Red Lentil Almond Curry


Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about five minutes.


Add the garlic, ginger, serranos, and the fresh turmeric (if using) and cook for 90 seconds, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.


Stir in the ground turmeric (if using), curry powder, cumin, garam masala, coriander, red chile powder, salt and black pepper. Add two tablespoons water to prevent burning. Stir the spices into the vegetables to coat evenly, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Select the Cancel setting.


Pour in the water to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the red lentils, coconut milk, almond butter, and chopped tomatoes, stirring to combine.


Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 10 minutes.


Once the 10-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.


Open the pot and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve the curry over white basmati rice or with naan bread (or roti) and add a dollop of coconut yogurt on top, if desired.


Recipe reproduced from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook (Avery, 2019) with the kind permission of the publisher.

Red Lentil Almond Curry (Instant Pot)

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Guy first name
1 year ago

Great recipe!

Margolit Wexler
Margolit Wexler
2 years ago

If I don’t own an instant pot, can you please give me alternative cooking instructions say on the stove top.

Guy first name
Reply to  Margolit Wexler
1 year ago

Have you tried this using the stove?