Curried Lentils & Rice with Caramelized Onions


This dish is all about balance.

Balance of flavors. Balance of textures. Balance of sweet and heat.

Cooking these lentils in the sauce, as opposed to cooking the lentils, then adding in the sauce, really makes a difference in the depth of the flavor of the entire meal. I thought about adding another teaspoon of curry powder (cuz I love me some curry!), but I thought it might be too much for the little people’s taste buds. So I just stuck with 1 teaspoon. If you’re feeling daring…please add more. And perhaps a little crushed red pepper too.

I hope you enjoy this really inexpensive dish as much as we did!!!

(Use vegetable stock to make it vegetarian.)

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Lentils & Rice with Caramelized Onions

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 20 minutes

Cooking Time – 45 minutes


Caramelized Onions

  • 2 tsp olive oil ($.03)
  • 4 small white onions, sliced into half moons ($1.20)
  • 2 tsp sugar ($.01)

Lentils & Rice

  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce ($.25)
  • 1 15 oz. cans worth of chicken broth or stock (free if homemade)
  • 1 tsp curry powder ($.10)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger ($.05)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 cup Hurst’s green lentils ($.75)
  • 1 cup brown rice ($.30)
  • Side of fresh or frozen veggies ($.80)



  • In a medium skillet, add the olive oil, sliced onions and sugar. Bring to a sizzling saute over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. This will “caramelize” the onions. Once browned and sweet, remove from heat and set aside. They will be used to top the lentils and rice.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Stir in the curry powder, garlic powder, ground ginger, salt and pepper. Bring to bubbling, then add the lentils. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  • Cook the brown rice as directed.
  • Prepare veggies.
  • Serve Curried Lentils over the rice with Caramelized Onions on top.

Cost $3.54

Disclosure: This post is part of a paid campaign with Hurst beans. Recipe was created in my kitchen, using Hurst Beans products. Opinions are my own. Can never go wrong with a delicious rice and beans/lentils kinda meal!

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  1. says

    I make a dish very like this, but I add whatever Veggies I need to use up. Last time it was sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms , carrots, celery & Onions. It is fairly cheap and adds a wonderful taste & texture.

  2. Donna Rogers says

    Wow! This sounds delicious. We have our own curry lentil recipe, but are always looking for variations. Looking forward to trying ths one! THANKS!

  3. Lorna says

    I make something very similar using red lentils but I also add coconut milk and then garnish with cilantro. My husband is an avowed carnivore but he loooves this dish. The caramelized onions really work great with the curry.

  4. Angel says

    I made this and it ended up in the garbage. This is the 2nd recipe from this website that was just horrible to me. I love Indian food and have had several things similar to this in the past, but this particular recipe just seemed off to me.

  5. Jeanne says

    This sounds great, only, I wonder why you add sugar to the caramelized onions. They’re so sweet on their own. Will be trying, without the sugar, later this week.

    Thanks for this great website, I’ve found a LOT of helpful hints here and am really enjoying looking through your recipes.


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