Indian Lentil Stew (Vegetarian or Vegan)

My family adores this incredibly easy, tasty recipe. I first discovered it when I signed up for a meal planning service in 2013 before my husband and I had kids.

We’ve enjoyed it over and over again since. Now even the 3 year old and 1 year old gobble it down.

It’s that good.

I’ve also recommended it to friends on several occasions. They’ve come back to me with, “I really didn’t think it was going to be that good. But you were right. It’s amazing!”

The first time or two that I made this recipe, I left out the raisins because I thought it was weird to put raisins in a savory recipe.

But when I told my sister about how good the recipe was, she said, “You should try the raisins. They’re very good in savory recipes.”

I was dubious, but she rarely leads me wrong. So, tentatively, I added them in… and she was right. It was so, so good.

Now I find myself adding extra raisins because they’re the kids’ favorite part.

So my advice? Don’t skip the raisins. Seriously.

You can also make this dish without soaking the lentils–just cook them about 20 minutes longer.

But I do suggest soaking them for several hours first. They will cook faster, and soaking helps to get rid of antinutrients that can make lentils (and other beans and grains) harder to digest.

Related: Template for a Healthy Diet

This stew is best served with a side of naan (Indian flatbread). I put it on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle it with water and then warm it up for 2 or 3 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Amazing.

For a vegan meal, make sure you use vegetarian broth and use a non-dairy yogurt, like coconut.


Yield: 4 servings

Indian Lentil Stew

vegetarian Indian lentil soup with spinach and tomatoes

This delicious vegetarian Indian lentil stew is a lovely combination of sweet and savory. Even my kids gobble it up. Use a non-dairy yogurt to make it vegan.

Adapted from The Six O'Clock Scramble

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 55 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 5 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup yogurt (optional)


  1. Soak the lentils for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the onions, cumin, cinnamon, and salt, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the onions are transparent.
  4. Drain the lentils. Then add lentils and broth to the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are almost done.
  6. Add the tomatoes, raisins, and spinach.
  7. Return to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes or until lentils are soft.
  8. Serve with naan and a large dollop of yogurt.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 771mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 13gProtein: 6g
This good-for-you vegetarian Indian lentil soup with spinach and tomatoes is so good even my toddler gobbles it up. It's very vegan-friendly and gluten-free, so no need to worry about allergies. Delicious and healthy too!

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