Coconut Lentils Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Coconut Lentils

In Brazil, many people eat a plate of lentils at New Year’s dinner to invite prosperity during the year to come. Since lentils look like small coins, and they almost double in size after they’re cooked, Brazilians say they attract fortune and wealth.



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¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
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1 Tbs. coconut oil
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1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1½ cups)
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½ tsp. ground ginger
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½ tsp. ground turmeric
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¼ tsp. ground allspice
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2 Tbs. tomato paste
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1 cup French green lentils
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¼ cup raisins
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2 tsp. lime juice


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange coconut flakes on baking sheet, and 
toast 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden. 
Set aside.

2. Heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 
5 to 7 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in ginger, turmeric, and allspice, and sauté 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, and sauté 30 seconds. Add 1 cup water to pan, and scrape up any browned bits.

3. Add lentils, raisins, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 
30 minutes. Uncover, and simmer 
10 to 15 minutes more, or until lentils 
are tender. Stir in lime juice, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tsp. toasted coconut.

Nutrition Information: 

8 g
Total Fat: 
6 g
Saturated Fat: 
4 g
30 g
0 mg
10 mg
6 g
7 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

I love lentils, and this was a delicious, different way to enjoy them. The spices and raisins really make this dish. I followed the recipe exactly; however, I don't think the toasted coconut flakes really added anything to the finished dish, so would omit that step next time, making this recipe even quicker and easier.

Update: Made these again with the Caribbean Coconut Rice from this site, and it was a delicious combination. A dollop of Greek yogurt is a great topping instead of the toasted coconut. And leftovers reheat beautifully for lunch the next day.

The first time I made this dish I only had 1/2 cup of lentils so I added 1/2 cup of rice. That turned out well.

Love this recipe! I didn't have raisins on hand, so I cut up some dried apricots...was delicious!