Home Simple Vegan Plant-Based Recipes Vegan Handi Lentils – Vegan Richa

Vegan Handi Lentils – Vegan Richa

handi lentil curries with a drizzle of cashew cream served with naan

Vegan Handi Lentils – Vegan Richa

Lovers of lentil curries will be all over this recipe for Handi Lentils. Brown lentils in a rich and fragrant spiced onion bell pepper tomato yogurt sauce! Serve with rice or naan. Naturally Gluten free & Nut-free version included.

handi lentil curries with a drizzle of cashew cream served with naan

Lovers of creamy and flavorful lentils – you HAVE to try this recipe for Handi Lentils! Handi dishes are super flavorful curries that are traditionally cooked in a clay pot (handi) over hours. This adds an earthy smoky flavor to the dish. Any pot works to cook and I use a saucepan to cook the lentils.

Handi dishes also have characteristic spice and sauce. Panch phoron (Indian Bengali 5 spice) or spices such as cumin, nigella and fenugreek seeds, are paired with garam masala or other spices in an onion bell pepper tomato sauce. You can make your own 5 spice mix and use whichever lentils you like to make this Handi Dal.

vegan handi lentils curry served with naan bread

Handi cooking usually involves making a flavor packed spiced sauce base which is then mixed with various proteins like lentils, meat, chicken etc. Here, we use brown lentils which taste amazing with the sauce.

The spices used give it the characteristic Handi flavor. Bengali spice blend called panch phoron:  a mix of mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and nigella seeds , which get toasted really well to add amazing flavor! Use whichever of these spices you have. See recipe notes for substitutes.

The tempered spices cook with caramelized onion,  bell pepper, tomato and non dairy yogurt or cashew cream which adds creamy base that goes perfectly with the cooked lentils!

The longer you simmer the sauce, the stronger the flavor. As with all dishes that use whole spices, these handi lentils will taste phenomenal if given a couple of hours after cooking and it will taste even better the next day.

handi lentils with cashew cream served on a platter


For options to make this without nuts, oil or onion, see recipe notes.

Book news: Vegan Richa’s Instant pot cookbook is one of the most anticipated books of 2022 on Indigo Canada! There’s also  Preorder promotion of 30% off till Feb 20th. Preorder on Chapter Indigo today!
Find your local bookstores in the US here.

MORE INDIAN Main DISHES TO TRY:

More Indian Dals to try

Handi Lentils

Handi Lentils. Brown lentils in a rich and fragrant spiced onion bell pepper tomato yogurt sauce! Serve with rice or naan. Naturally Gluten free – Nut-free version included. Oilfree and Onion-free options This dish will taste phenomenally after resting a couple of hours or next day.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time55 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: brown lentil curry, vegan handi curry

Servings: 4

Calories: 171kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

Lentils:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) brown lentils dry uncooked , or use green or other lentils
  • 2 cups (354.88 ml) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 green chili chopped serrano or Indian Chile for hot, or use 1 tablespoon chopped mild green chili
  • 1 cup root vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, parsnip, or a mix of choice

For the sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon panch phoron , Indian bengali 5 spice, see notes to make your own
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or cayenne or Indian red chili powder
  • a good pinch of cinnamon, clove powder, and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper chopped small
  • 2 ounces (60 g) or 1/4 cup of tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt or cashew cream or other non-dairy cream or use thick non dairy milk such as oat milk
  • cilantro , lemon juice, non dairy yogurt or thick non dairy milk for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the lentils: Wash the lentils and soak for 10 minutes then drain and add to a saucepan with the water, chilies, vegetables, and salt and cook over medium heat partially covered, until the lentils are cooked to preference. Or pressure cook in the instant pot with 1.5 cups water for 14 minutes for brown lentils and 16 for green lentils. Let the pressure releas naturally
  • Make the sauce: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the panch phoron and cook until the cumin seeds smell fragrant or the mustard seeds start sputtering.

  • Add in all the ground spices and fenugreek leaves and mix. Then add in the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent. Then add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes.

  • Then add in the tomato puree and yogurt and a good pinch of salt and mix in and bring to a good simmer.

  • Then add in your cooked lentils with any remaining liquid and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and bring to good boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Adjust consistency by adding more water if needed or simmer for another 2 mins if you want it thicker.

  • Garnish with cilantro and some lemon juice and optionally drizzle some yogurt or non dairy cream. Serve with roti, Naan, flatbread (regular or glutenfree) or rice.Store refrigerated for upto 3 days. Can be frozen for upto 2 months in an airtight container.

Notes

Make your own panch phoron:  mix 1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and nigella seeds and store. use 1/2 teaspoon of the mix . Use whichever spices you have. If you don’t have nigella seeds, use dried onion flakes.

  • To make this nut-free, just omit the cashew cream and use nutfree non Dairy yogurt.
  • To make this Oilfree: toast the whole spices on a dry skillet until cumin seeds change color, then immediately add 2-3 tablespoons of broth. Then add ground spices and bring to a boil, add onion and continue with the recipe. 
  • To make this without Onion: substitute the onion with peeled and thinly sliced zucchini. recipe is garlic free. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Handi Lentils

Amount Per Serving

Calories 171
Calories from Fat 18

% Daily Value*

Fat 2g3%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 372mg16%

Potassium 562mg16%

Carbohydrates 30g10%

Fiber 11g46%

Sugar 6g7%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 3618IU72%

Vitamin C 59mg72%

Calcium 66mg7%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

a bowl if vegan Indian lentil curry served with a drizzle of cashew cream and naan

Ingredients:

  • for this dish, I used brown lentils which are cooked with root veggies and green chili
  • as we cook the veggies in water, I recommend sturdy vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato or potatoes
  • whole spices are tempered in oil for that complex flavor:  panch phoron, that’s Indian bengali 5 spice ( mustard seeds , cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds). Nigella seeds can be substituted with dried onion flakes.
  • ground spices: coriander, cumin, cardamom, smoked paprika to add some smokyness or use cayenne or Indian red chili powder.  a good pinch of cinnamon, clove powder, and black pepper to round up the flavor
  • chopped onion are caramelized to create the base of the gravy
  • bell pepper are added for color and texture
  • a mix of tomato puree and yogurt or cashew cream created a gorgeous creamy and mild gravy

Tips:

  • This handi curry will taste phenomenal if given a couple of hours after cooking and it will taste even better the next day.
  • For the panch phoron, instead of nigella seeds, you can use dried onion flakes.
  • To make this nut-free, just omit the cashew cream and use nutfree non Dairy yogurt.
  • see recipe notes for Oilfree and onion-free

ingredients on a marble countertop

How to make Handi Lentils:

lentils and root vegetables in a skillet

Wash the lentils and soak for 10 minutes then drain and add to a saucepan with the water, chilies, vegetables, and salt and cook over medium heat partially covered, until the lentils are cooked to preference.

spices toasted in a black skillet

skillet with toasted whole spices and ground spices

Make the sauce: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the panch phoron and cook until the cumin seeds smell fragrant or the mustard seeds start spattering.

onions and spices in a black skillet

Add in all the ground spices and fenugreek leaves and mix. Then add in the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent.

skillet with sauteed onion

 

skillet with brown lentils and bell pepper

brown lentils and belle peppers in a black skillet

Then add the peppers and cook for a minute. Then add in the tomato puree and yogurt and mix in and bring to a good simmer.

cashew cream and tomatoes being added to a skillet

lentils in cream and tomato gravy

Then add in your cooked lentils and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and bring to a good boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.

cooked brown lentils and carrots being added to a skillet

 

gravy and lentils in a black skillet

cooked brown lentils simmering in creamy Indian gravy in black skillet

Simmer for another minute then take off the heat. Garnish with cilantro and some lemon juice. Serve with roti, Naan, flatbread (regular or glutenfree) or rice.

Storage:

Stored in an airtight container, this curry should last for 3 days in the fridge.

handli lentils served with naan bread

 

 

 

Vegan Handi Lentils

Vegan Handi Lentils – Vegan Richa | Simple Vegan
Home Simple Vegan Plant-Based Recipes Vegan Handi Lentils – Vegan Richa

Vegan Handi Lentils – Vegan Richa

handi lentil curries with a drizzle of cashew cream served with naan

Vegan Handi Lentils – Vegan Richa

Lovers of lentil curries will be all over this recipe for Handi Lentils. Brown lentils in a rich and fragrant spiced onion bell pepper tomato yogurt sauce! Serve with rice or naan. Naturally Gluten free & Nut-free version included.

handi lentil curries with a drizzle of cashew cream served with naan

Lovers of creamy and flavorful lentils – you HAVE to try this recipe for Handi Lentils! Handi dishes are super flavorful curries that are traditionally cooked in a clay pot (handi) over hours. This adds an earthy smoky flavor to the dish. Any pot works to cook and I use a saucepan to cook the lentils.

Handi dishes also have characteristic spice and sauce. Panch phoron (Indian Bengali 5 spice) or spices such as cumin, nigella and fenugreek seeds, are paired with garam masala or other spices in an onion bell pepper tomato sauce. You can make your own 5 spice mix and use whichever lentils you like to make this Handi Dal.

vegan handi lentils curry served with naan bread

Handi cooking usually involves making a flavor packed spiced sauce base which is then mixed with various proteins like lentils, meat, chicken etc. Here, we use brown lentils which taste amazing with the sauce.

The spices used give it the characteristic Handi flavor. Bengali spice blend called panch phoron:  a mix of mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and nigella seeds , which get toasted really well to add amazing flavor! Use whichever of these spices you have. See recipe notes for substitutes.

The tempered spices cook with caramelized onion,  bell pepper, tomato and non dairy yogurt or cashew cream which adds creamy base that goes perfectly with the cooked lentils!

The longer you simmer the sauce, the stronger the flavor. As with all dishes that use whole spices, these handi lentils will taste phenomenal if given a couple of hours after cooking and it will taste even better the next day.

handi lentils with cashew cream served on a platter


For options to make this without nuts, oil or onion, see recipe notes.

Book news: Vegan Richa’s Instant pot cookbook is one of the most anticipated books of 2022 on Indigo Canada! There’s also  Preorder promotion of 30% off till Feb 20th. Preorder on Chapter Indigo today!
Find your local bookstores in the US here.

MORE INDIAN Main DISHES TO TRY:

More Indian Dals to try

Handi Lentils

Handi Lentils. Brown lentils in a rich and fragrant spiced onion bell pepper tomato yogurt sauce! Serve with rice or naan. Naturally Gluten free – Nut-free version included. Oilfree and Onion-free options This dish will taste phenomenally after resting a couple of hours or next day.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time55 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: brown lentil curry, vegan handi curry

Servings: 4

Calories: 171kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

Lentils:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) brown lentils dry uncooked , or use green or other lentils
  • 2 cups (354.88 ml) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 green chili chopped serrano or Indian Chile for hot, or use 1 tablespoon chopped mild green chili
  • 1 cup root vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, parsnip, or a mix of choice

For the sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon panch phoron , Indian bengali 5 spice, see notes to make your own
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or cayenne or Indian red chili powder
  • a good pinch of cinnamon, clove powder, and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper chopped small
  • 2 ounces (60 g) or 1/4 cup of tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt or cashew cream or other non-dairy cream or use thick non dairy milk such as oat milk
  • cilantro , lemon juice, non dairy yogurt or thick non dairy milk for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the lentils: Wash the lentils and soak for 10 minutes then drain and add to a saucepan with the water, chilies, vegetables, and salt and cook over medium heat partially covered, until the lentils are cooked to preference. Or pressure cook in the instant pot with 1.5 cups water for 14 minutes for brown lentils and 16 for green lentils. Let the pressure releas naturally
  • Make the sauce: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the panch phoron and cook until the cumin seeds smell fragrant or the mustard seeds start sputtering.

  • Add in all the ground spices and fenugreek leaves and mix. Then add in the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent. Then add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes.

  • Then add in the tomato puree and yogurt and a good pinch of salt and mix in and bring to a good simmer.

  • Then add in your cooked lentils with any remaining liquid and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and bring to good boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Adjust consistency by adding more water if needed or simmer for another 2 mins if you want it thicker.

  • Garnish with cilantro and some lemon juice and optionally drizzle some yogurt or non dairy cream. Serve with roti, Naan, flatbread (regular or glutenfree) or rice.Store refrigerated for upto 3 days. Can be frozen for upto 2 months in an airtight container.

Notes

Make your own panch phoron:  mix 1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and nigella seeds and store. use 1/2 teaspoon of the mix . Use whichever spices you have. If you don’t have nigella seeds, use dried onion flakes.

  • To make this nut-free, just omit the cashew cream and use nutfree non Dairy yogurt.
  • To make this Oilfree: toast the whole spices on a dry skillet until cumin seeds change color, then immediately add 2-3 tablespoons of broth. Then add ground spices and bring to a boil, add onion and continue with the recipe. 
  • To make this without Onion: substitute the onion with peeled and thinly sliced zucchini. recipe is garlic free. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Handi Lentils

Amount Per Serving

Calories 171
Calories from Fat 18

% Daily Value*

Fat 2g3%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 372mg16%

Potassium 562mg16%

Carbohydrates 30g10%

Fiber 11g46%

Sugar 6g7%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 3618IU72%

Vitamin C 59mg72%

Calcium 66mg7%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

a bowl if vegan Indian lentil curry served with a drizzle of cashew cream and naan

Ingredients:

  • for this dish, I used brown lentils which are cooked with root veggies and green chili
  • as we cook the veggies in water, I recommend sturdy vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato or potatoes
  • whole spices are tempered in oil for that complex flavor:  panch phoron, that’s Indian bengali 5 spice ( mustard seeds , cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds). Nigella seeds can be substituted with dried onion flakes.
  • ground spices: coriander, cumin, cardamom, smoked paprika to add some smokyness or use cayenne or Indian red chili powder.  a good pinch of cinnamon, clove powder, and black pepper to round up the flavor
  • chopped onion are caramelized to create the base of the gravy
  • bell pepper are added for color and texture
  • a mix of tomato puree and yogurt or cashew cream created a gorgeous creamy and mild gravy

Tips:

  • This handi curry will taste phenomenal if given a couple of hours after cooking and it will taste even better the next day.
  • For the panch phoron, instead of nigella seeds, you can use dried onion flakes.
  • To make this nut-free, just omit the cashew cream and use nutfree non Dairy yogurt.
  • see recipe notes for Oilfree and onion-free

ingredients on a marble countertop

How to make Handi Lentils:

lentils and root vegetables in a skillet

Wash the lentils and soak for 10 minutes then drain and add to a saucepan with the water, chilies, vegetables, and salt and cook over medium heat partially covered, until the lentils are cooked to preference.

spices toasted in a black skillet

skillet with toasted whole spices and ground spices

Make the sauce: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the panch phoron and cook until the cumin seeds smell fragrant or the mustard seeds start spattering.

onions and spices in a black skillet

Add in all the ground spices and fenugreek leaves and mix. Then add in the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent.

skillet with sauteed onion

 

skillet with brown lentils and bell pepper

brown lentils and belle peppers in a black skillet

Then add the peppers and cook for a minute. Then add in the tomato puree and yogurt and mix in and bring to a good simmer.

cashew cream and tomatoes being added to a skillet

lentils in cream and tomato gravy

Then add in your cooked lentils and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and bring to a good boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.

cooked brown lentils and carrots being added to a skillet

 

gravy and lentils in a black skillet

cooked brown lentils simmering in creamy Indian gravy in black skillet

Simmer for another minute then take off the heat. Garnish with cilantro and some lemon juice. Serve with roti, Naan, flatbread (regular or glutenfree) or rice.

Storage:

Stored in an airtight container, this curry should last for 3 days in the fridge.

handli lentils served with naan bread

 

 

 

Vegan Handi Lentils