Clean Eating Garam Masala Red Lentil Stew Recipe

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This clean eating garam masala red lentil stew recipe is a hearty, tummy-warming bowl of deliciousness!

What do you do when you create a soup recipe from scratch, and in the end you realize you didn’t add enough liquid for it to actually qualify as soup? You serve it with a smile and call it stew!

This “stew” may not look like anything fantastic, but let me tell you… if you are partial to Indian food, this dish is WONDERFUL! I fell head over heals inΒ love with it.

Clean Eating Garam Masala Red Lentil Stew sits in a white bowl on top of a large, wooden cutting board, served with flatbread wedges and a dollop of hummus.

When I first made this recipe years ago, I made it with chicken broth. But now that I’m 100% plant based, I switched out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and it turned out just as tasty as the chicken broth version.

And overhead view of a bowl of this Clean Eating Garam Masala Red Lentil Stew. It's been sprinkled with a few freshly chopped herbs and has a side of flatbread wedges and hummus off to the right side of the bowl.

I also adjusted the spices. When I first made this Clean Eating Garam Masala Red Lentil Stew, I went heavy on the curry and some folks didn’t like it with such a strong flavor. So I backed off of the curry and it really did mellow things out a bit. But in a good way. I can’t stop eating it.Β  So, so, so yummy!


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Clean Eating Indian-Style Red Lentil Stew Recipe

Clean Eating Garam Masala Red Lentil Stew

This wonderful bowl of comfort is perfect on a chilly, windy evening. Serve this with some flatbread and hummus for a well rounded meal. I used my chickpea flour flatbread recipe. You can find the link to that recipe listed above.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Stew
Cuisine: American, Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 14 cups (approximately)
Calories: 256kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups dry, red lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can light coconut milk
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (no sugar added)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp. curry powder (or to taste)
  • 3 tsp. garam masala (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 lb. baby carrots (sliced thin)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
  • salt and pepper (to taste after cooking)


  • Roughly chop your onion and place into a large pot with the olive oil. 
  • Cook the onions until they are translucent. In fact, if you know how to caramelize onions, go for it.
  • Add your red lentils to the pot and stir.
  • Add the coconut milk to the pot and bring to a low boil.
  • Add all other ingredients. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently to keep the beans from burning on the bottom of the pot.
  • Stew is finished when the lentils are soft and fully cooked.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 674mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4845IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4.7mg
This recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 4/9/2010.

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  1. I made this dish with the 1 tablespoon curry & 3 tablespoons garam marsala & OMG, it was horrible. Completely overspiced! I’m thinking this was a misprint & it should be teaspoons not tablespoons of both spices. I ended up straining the stew & dumping out 3/4 ths of the liquid. Then put it back in the crockpot with a new can of tomato sauce & cocount milk. Then it tasted very good like I thought it should : )

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sharon – I’m sorry you had that experience! I do tend to like strong spice. The measurements were correct, though I’ve altered the recipe now so that others won’t have the same experience you did. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. I made this dish and it was AWESOME! I’ve had hit or miss situations with my crock pot. I did add a teaspoon of salt, 1 tsp Tumeric Powder, 1 tsp Chili Powder (for a kick but I thought it needed more) and I substituted the tomato sauce with a can of tomatoes. I also used Garlic Olive Oil to add a little something. I WILL MAKE THIS AGAIN!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Kat – that’s wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. graciouspantry says:

    Wonderful! I’m happy you both enjoyed it!

  4. This recipe was absolutely delicious! I added a little ground turkey because my son thinks a main dish must include meat. I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed every recipe I’ve tried. I hope you’ll keep this site up for years to come!!!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      I plan on it! Thanks!

  5. graciouspantry says:

    My slow cooker is a 5 quart if that helps. I wouldn’t go any smaller than a 4 quart or any larger than a 6. This meal will freeze just fine. Enjoy!

  6. graciouspantry says:

    The red lentils did not expand like the brown lentils do. At least not for me. So yes, I did end up with 6 servings. The nutrition data I post is only a ballpark figure, and every calculator on the web will give you different numbers.


    That was just delicious. I loved it so much. I had to make a few changes due to ingredients not being in my cupboard so I didn’t get to have the beans and I had to use green lentils and coriander seed powder instead of garam masala (tastes totally different but I had to be inventive!). Very excited to try it again with the correct ingredients.

    I have made a few of your recipes since starting on my clean eating and then raw way of eating and your website is by FAR my favourite. I still eat a few cooked things because I love your recipes.

    (p.s – your walnut chocolate fudge is UNBELIEVABLE!!)

    Jess xoxox

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying my recipes! πŸ™‚

  8. How long does it take for the lentils to become soft? Trying to decide if this is a weeknight meal or not πŸ™‚ thanks for the amazing recipes!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      It can take about 30 minutes, give or take. Depends on the lentils.

  9. WOW!! Made this for dinner and it was AMAZING!! I added some fresh shrimp and chiles and it was out of this world good! I was in red lentil heaven πŸ™‚ It made my house smell soooooo fantastic. So aromatic and exotic. I just LOVE your website!! Every recipe i make (and i make alot!! Lol) ALWAYS turn out amazing! You make eating clean so simple, interesting, and DELICIOUS!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kaileigh – Awwww, thank you! πŸ™‚

  10. This recipe is delicious – and healthy… I wasn’t too sure that DH or teenage boys would like it, but they raved about it. I added 2 stalks of celery and an extra tspn of curry powder.
    Definitely a winner for our family.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tracey – Fantastic! So glad everyone liked it! πŸ˜€

  11. Matt Benton says:

    This was not a bad recipe, but I would suggest adding the carrots with the coconut milk and maybe some water or chicken broth before I add the beans, to soften them. It takes longer to cook the carrots than the lentils.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Matt – Thanks for your feedback! I found the carrots cooked the same, but I guess that could depend on their thickness. Glad you liked it though!

  12. Matt Benton says:

    I was wondering. Is the reason for adding the garbanzo beans to the recipe, to make it a complete protein meal?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Matt – No. I just thought they tasted good. You can leave them out if you prefer.

  13. This recipe is delicious… I can’t stop eating it! Only modification I made was to use fresh garlic in with the onion as I didn’t have garlic powder and a tablespoon of coconut sugar for added sweetness. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe – it will definitely be a regular for me and I have already shared it around the office!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ashleigh – Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

      1. 5 stars
        This comment is about 10 years overdue… I’ve literally been making this recipe for my family of 6 since you first created it, Tiffany! I was one of your first followers in the BA! :). It’s one of our family’s absolute favorite plant based meals. We *love* all the spices and actually use *more* curry and GM than called for (and salt and pepper), and I usually serve it over coconut rice. I’ve passed this recipe on so many times to vegan/veg friends, and meat eating friends just looking to get more plant based meals in their diets – everyone loves it. It always amazes me that my Texan, meat and potatoes husband, will consistently get a second helping of this, it’s that good. Thank you for creating it!

        1. Mehridith – Thank you so much!! I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying it for so long! I’m honored that my recipe is so enjoyable for you and your family. πŸ™‚

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