Coconut Lentil Curry is a delicious and nutritious vegan dish that me and my family try not to eat EVERY SINGLE DAY. As the name suggests, it is a curry, that’s a given, made with lentils, again, pretty obvious. But the beauty of this dish comes from the flavour, which, in no small part, is down to the addition of coconut.
My Coconut Lentil Curry
The Health Benefit of Coconut Lentil Curry
Coconut lentil curry is not only delicious but also incredibly healthy. Here are some of the health benefits:
High in Fibre: Lentils are an excellent source of fibre, which is important for maintaining digestive health. The high fibre content in lentils helps to regulate bowel movements, reduce constipation, and prevent digestive disorders such as diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Rich in Plant-Based Protein: Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles, bones, and tissues. Protein is also important for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Lentils are a great alternative to meat, especially for vegetarians and vegans who may struggle to get enough protein from their diet.
Lowers Cholesterol: Lentils are known to be heart-healthy and can help to reduce cholesterol levels. The high fibre content in lentils helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels: Lentils are a low-glycemic index food, which means they are slowly digested and do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. This makes them a great food choice for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
Promotes Weight Loss: Lentils are a low-calorie food that can help to promote weight loss. They are also high in protein and fibre, which can help to increase feelings of fullness and reduce appetite.
Overall, coconut lentil curry is an excellent choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy diet while still enjoying delicious and flavourful food.
Why Use Coconut Milk in Curry?
Coconut milk is a popular ingredient in many curry recipes, but why is it used? Here are some reasons why coconut milk is a great addition to your next coconut lentil curry:
Flavour and Richness: Coconut milk adds a rich, creamy texture and a subtle, sweet flavour to curry dishes. It also helps to balance out the spiciness of some curries.
Health Benefits: Coconut milk is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have been shown to have several health benefits, including improved brain function and increased energy levels. Coconut milk is also high in vitamins C, E, and B-complex, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium.
Dairy-free Alternative: Coconut milk is a great alternative to dairy milk for people who are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy. It’s also a good option for vegans and vegetarians.
Cooking with Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a versatile and creamy ingredient that can add a depth of flavour to a variety of dishes, including curries. However, cooking with coconut milk can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the process.
Here are some tips to help you cook with coconut milk:
At what stage do you add coconut milk?
Coconut milk should ideally be added towards the end of the cooking process. This is because coconut milk is a delicate ingredient that can curdle or separate if boiled for too long. Ideally, coconut milk should be added just before the dish is done, and the heat should be turned off once it’s been added.
How do you avoid curdling coconut milk?
Curdling can occur when coconut milk is exposed to high heat for too long. To avoid this, you can add a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch to the coconut milk before adding it to the curry. This will help thicken the curry and prevent curdling.
Using coconut cream vs. coconut milk:
Coconut cream is thicker and richer than coconut milk and can be used in place of coconut milk for a creamier curry. If you’re using coconut cream instead of coconut milk, make sure to dilute it with some water to achieve the desired consistency.
Alternatives to canned coconut milk
If you don’t have canned coconut milk on hand, you can use fresh coconut milk instead. To make fresh coconut milk, blend grated coconut with water, and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. Another alternative is to use coconut cream concentrate, which is a thicker and richer version of coconut milk that can be diluted with water.
In this section, we will compare lentils with other popular foods and explore their nutritional differences.
Lentils vs. Chicken:
- Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, containing around 18g per 1 cup cooked, while chicken has around 43g per 1 cup cooked.
- Lentils are also lower in fat and calories than chicken, making them a healthier alternative.
Lentils vs. Rice:
- Lentils are higher in protein and fibre than rice.
- Rice is higher in calories and carbohydrates compared to lentils.
Lentils vs. Potatoes:
- Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, while potatoes are primarily a source of carbohydrates.
- Potatoes are higher in calories and carbohydrates compared to lentils.
Lentils vs. Bread:
- Lentils are a healthier alternative to bread as they contain more fibre and protein.
- Bread is higher in calories and carbohydrates compared to lentils.
Lentils vs. Eggs:
- Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, while eggs are primarily a source of animal-based protein.
- Lentils are lower in calories and saturated fat compared to eggs.
Lentil varieties for weight loss:
- Red lentils and green lentils are low in calories and high in fibre, making them an ideal choice for weight loss.
- Incorporating lentils into your diet can also help control blood sugar levels, aiding in weight loss efforts.
Common Lentil Curry Related Questions
Do all Indian curries have coconut milk?
No, not all Indian curries have coconut milk. Coconut milk is a common ingredient in some Indian curries, but not all. Some Indian curries use other dairy or non-dairy products, such as cream or yogurt.
Can lentils burn belly fat?
As they’re low in calories, and high in fibre and protein, lentils can be a healthy addition to a weight loss diet. However, no single food can ‘target’ fat loss in a specific area of the body. It is important to consume a balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity for overall weight loss and health benefits.
Are cooked lentils high in calories?
Cooked lentils are relatively low in calories compared to many other foods. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 230 calories, but is also high in fibre and protein, making it a filling and nutrient-dense food.
Can I eat lentils every day?
Yes, lentils can be a healthy and nutritious addition to a daily diet. They are high in fibre, protein, and other essential nutrients, and can be a good source of plant-based protein for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. My family definitely wises they could eat this coconut lentil curry every day.
Why do lentils make me bloated?
Lentils contain complex carbohydrates that can be difficult for some people to digest, which can lead to bloating and gas. Soaking lentils before cooking and cooking them thoroughly can help make them easier to digest. Additionally, slowly increasing the amount of lentils consumed and drinking plenty of water can help reduce bloating.