A great source of vegetarian protein, this one pot red lentil and sweet potato coconut curry is mild, tasty and quick to prepare making it a great midweek dinner. This is a great red lentil recipe to make for babies and children and it's also suitable for vegans. Ideal for batch cooking and filling up your freezer.
My kids loved lentil curries when they were babies
Both kids used to absolutely love curry but I've somehow got out of the habit of making it for them. Which is a real shame because curries are an absolutely fantastic way to get lots of vegetables onto their plates, and hopefully into their tummies!
When Miss R was a baby she absolutely loved dahl on toast. And R's favourite dish for a while was the Annabel Karmel cheesy lentils recipe. Yet now, lentils are not very popular.
This dish however, proved to be an exception. Hurrah!
They turned their noses up at it at first glance but hunger and the mild coconut flavour won them over.
And with the addition of a bit of chilli us grown ups really enjoyed it too. It's not often that we find a dish that everyone in this household likes!
Is this lentil and sweet potato curry suitable for weaning?
Absolutely. This is a brilliant recipe to make for babies. It's full of healthy vegetables and protein and it's mildly spiced.
Don't be scared to give your baby spices.
Chilli is best avoided but embrace other spices and add them to your baby's food as much as you like.
Weaning is a wonderful opportunity to introduce your baby to as many different flavours as possible.
This red lentil recipe can be puréed or spoon fed as it is to older babies.
If you're following baby led weaning then you can let your baby feed themselves with a spoon or their hands. Alternatively you could spread it on to toast or serve with toast or pitta bread fingers for dipping.
If you prefer you can mash the sweet potato into the lentils before serving to your baby or even blend the whole curry into a puree.
- Sunflower oil
Coconut or vegetable oil can also be used
- Cumin seeds
Also known as jeera
- 1 onion
Crushed or finely chopped
- Fresh ginger
Peeled and finely chopped
- Ground turmeric
- Ground coriander powder
- Chilli powder
Optional - best left out for babies
- Sweet potatoes
Peeled and diced
- Coconut milk
1 standard UK-sized tin
- 250 g dried red split lentils
- 500 ml water
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
A spice blend that is readily available in UK supermarkets. Or make your own garam masala blend
- Salt and pepper
Leave salt out for babies
- handful coriander leaves
Also known as cilantro
Like many curries this tastes even better the next day. It's perfect for a leftovers lunch if you've had it for dinner the day before.
It's also brilliant for batch cooking and filling up your freezer.
Store in the fridge
To store in the fridge allow to cool completely then transfer to an airtight container. Eat within three days.
When ready to eat reheat until piping hot. If serving to a baby or child then allow to cool to a suitable temperature before serving.
Store in the freezer
This curry is perfect for freezing in one large family-sized batch or in individual portions.
Allow to cool then store in a freezer bag or box. Label and date and freeze for up to three months.
The sweet potato can break down when the curry has been defrosted so I prefer to defrost overnight rather than in the microwave. Reheat until piping hot before serving.
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How to make red lentil and sweet potato coconut curry
If you have made this recipe I would love it if you’d leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Red lentil and sweet potato coconut curry
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder* optional or to taste
- 700 g sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 250 g red lentils
- 500 ml water
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Salt* and pepper to taste, optional
- handful coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute or two until starting to brown.
- Stir in the onion, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring often for 10 minutes or until soft.
- Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, ground coriander and chilli (if using), stir well and cook for a further minute.
- Stir in the sweet potatoes and mix well, ensuring that the spicy onion mix covers them well.
- Add the lentils, coconut milk and water bring to the boil then reduce to a low heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and add a dash more water if it's starting to look dry.
- Stir through a tablespoon of garam masala. Season to taste with salt* and pepper if using.
- Serve with the finely chopped coriander leaves and rice or chapatis.
- Chilli powder and salt can be left out for babies.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide.