Lentil, Chard & Sweet Potato Curry

One sure sign you’re cooking something really tasty is when the aroma fills your house and makes it smell magical. This is one of those recipes. Onions, garlic, fresh ginger, curry powder, and garam masala (a smoky, peppery blend of spices often found in Indian cooking) become incredibly fragrant while cooking. By the time you finally get to serve yourself a bowl, your nose won’t be able to handle the teasing any longer! Serve this gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free dish on top of rice or quinoa, or alongside a piece of vegan chapati, naan, or crusty French bread.

Recipe adapted from But I Could Never Go Vegan! 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner by Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted and adapted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.

By Kristy Turner,


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1½ cups yellow lentils (toor dal), rinsed and picked through
  • ¾ cup plain vegan yogurt
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, center stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black salt (kala namak) or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the onion in a large, shallow saucepan, and sauté over medium heat until translucent (about 3 to 4 minutes), adding water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for about 1 minute. Add the jalapeño and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the ginger, curry powder, garam masala, and turmeric (if using). Stir to fully combine and cook for about 2 minutes more, adding water as necessary.
  • Add the broth, sweet potatoes, and lentils. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover again, this time leaving the lid open a crack. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • When the lentils are tender and the liquid has decreased, add the yogurt, lime juice, and chard, and cook until the chard is just starting to wilt. Add the salt and the pepper to taste, stir to combine, and remove from the heat. Serve warm.

Comments (29)

(5 from 20 votes)

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I've done this recipe many times, and it's lovely..but, today I used coriander leaves (cilantro) instead of chard..and coconut milk instead of yoghurt.. Wow, it's lovely 😍

John S

Spectacular recipe! So, so good! I made a couple variations. First, I diced the chard stems and sautéed them with the onion. Tastes similar to celery and adds additional color. Second, I boiled the chard for 8 minutes and discarded the water. This reduces the oxalate content for those of us with kidney issues.

Ellen Leo

Delicious recipe! But it might do better with 3 cups of water or stock rather than 4.


Made this and it was so delicious! Will definitely make it again during the colder months!


Can anything be substituted for yellow lentils? I'm having difficulty finding them in my area.

Megan Edwards

Hi Stacey, Red lentils would work great as well, or you could try yellow split peas. It's possible that standard brown lentils could work too, but they likely won't break down as much during the cooking process to deliver the soft, smooth texture you'll get with yellow or red lentils (and the dish won't look as pretty either). Let us know how it goes!


This was excellent. I, briefly, considered adding more garam masala but decided to stick to the recipe- and am so glad I did! Everyone loved it. It’s so good that I’m making it again next week.


I have done it with both yellow and red lentils..equally as good..enjoy

Lisa Ulrich

I’ve made this recipe many times as written and just dumpling everything into a slow cooker. It is absolutely delicious. I’m not vegan if it matters. But I’ve suggested this recipe to lots of friends looking for healthy or vegetarian food. I’ve brought it to potlucks and made it for holidays. It’s always an hit! Everyone loves it. (I’ve also made it with yellow spit peas if you are having trouble finding the lentils)


Good idea! How long did you have to cook it for in the slow cooker?

Lisa Ulrich

When I make it in the slow cooker, I use yellow split peas. My slow cooker runs very hot so I do 4 hours on low then warm till I get home. I don’t add the yogurt in the slow cooker. I add a dollop on top as a garnish/ condiment. I’m not vegan so I use regular yogurt.


Grateful to have vegan yogurt as the "creamy" component, since I don't use coconut milk. Great stew!


Didn't have all the ingredients, so adapted, as lots of the comments said, I used red lentils, spinach and 1/2 can coconut milk...but the main spices were just right..I used them exactly as stated ( no salt or pepper) it was delicious..Will make it again...and try yellow lentils and chard...


Absolutely delicious!


Loved the recipe! I added coconut cream too and dates! Thank you! I couldn’t get yellow lentils blah but now I’m on the hunt for them!

Lisa Ulrich

I’m not vegan or anything but I love this recipe! So tasty. I’ve made it for all sorts of family and they love it too! I’ve made this at least ten times. Work great in a crockpot too.

Hayley M.

This was fabulous. So flavorful and comforting. I would definitely make it again.

Rebekah Welch

Wow!!! This is so good!!! I love coconut milk and when I read someone used coconut milk I followed that and I agree—it makes it amazing. I used a whole can. Our grocery never has yellow lentils and I just used regular lentils. The grocery store also didn’t have Swiss chard so I decided to use bok choy leaves, which I thought was tasty. I plan to try it with fresh spinach next time I make it. My husband loved it. I’ll definitely make this again.


So so yummy!! The ultimate comfort food- my hubby even asked that we make this again! We sautéed the Swiss chard stems with the spices and subbed coconut milk for yogurt. This was a great use for the Swiss chard in the garden. We will make this again. Thank you!


It was Devine. Can o freeze it?

Barb Ludman

Can this be made in Instant Pot? If so, how many minutes?


Yes, that's how I've always made mine. I put in on manual | high pressure | 20 minutes

Susan S

Smells and tastes delicious! My sweet potatoes came out a little mushy, so either cut bigger pieces or cook less time. My lentils were done in 20 mins. One of my favorite dinner recipes right now served over brown rice!

Lori B

This recipe is a keeper. And the smell as it was cooking was amazing. I was looking for a recipe to use some of the chard from my garden. Easy to make and a complete meal in one pot.

Mandy B

Meat eating Hubby said 'this ones a good one! Mine didn't look as nice as picture but it tasted delish. Will definetely make again. Thanks


Cool time is incorrect. The dried lentils take 40+ minutes. Otherwise nice recipe. You could add green beans, zucchini or pretty much any veg you have.

Kristin Karnecki

Delicious!, simple and healthy. Can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Cary Perkins

I maybe disagree with the coconut milk substitution... the coconut milk makes it a bit sweet, which is nice but maybe the yoghurt would be slightly different. I’ve made the coconut milk version and it’s fantastic though.

Bonnie Giddens

We love this recipe. The only thing I change is coconut milk instead of vegan yogurt and I use whatever lentils are available.

About the Author

Headshot of Kristy Turner

About the Author

Kristy Turner

A self-described former “die-hard cheese nerd,” Kristy Turner is now the writer, recipe developer, and food stylist behind the vegan food blog Keepin’ It Kind. Once a professional fromager and mutterer of the words, “I could never be vegan,” Turner now loves her compassionate lifestyle and works with her photographer husband, Chris, to make veganism accessible, fun, and delicious for everyone. Find her on Instagram.
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