By Mayo Clinic Staff

Dietitian's tip:

Lentils are a staple in the cooking of southern India. If you can't find yellow lentils, you can substitute yellow split peas.

Number of servings

Serves 4
  1. DASH diet
  2. Weight management
  3. Plant-based
  4. Meatless
  5. Healthy-carb
  6. Diabetes meal plan
  7. Gluten-free
  8. High-fiber


  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  3. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  4. 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  6. 1 cup yellow lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
  7. 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added vegetable stock, chicken stock or broth
  8. 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  9. 2 cups baby spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped, or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. For garnish:

  12. 1 teaspoon white or black sesame seeds
  13. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, ginger, curry powder and turmeric and cook, stirring until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the lentils, stock and coconut milk. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the lentils are tender but still firm, about 12 minutes. The mixture should be brothy; add a little water if needed.

While the lentils simmer, toast the sesame seeds. Place the sesame seeds in a small, dry saute pan over medium heat. Cook briefly, shaking the pan often and watching carefully to prevent burning. Remove the seeds from the pan as soon as they begin to turn brown. Set aside.

Stir the spinach into the lentils, cover and simmer for about 3 minutes longer. The lentils should still hold their shape.

Uncover and stir in the salt. Garnish with the cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size: About 3/4 cup

  • Total carbohydrate 36 g
  • Dietary fiber 16 g
  • Sodium 348 mg
  • Saturated fat 2 g
  • Total fat 7 g
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Protein 14 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Calories 263
  • Added sugars 0 g
  • Total sugars 4 g

This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook," published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of a James Beard award.

Sept. 15, 2018