Vegan Lentil Balti With Rice

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Vegan Lentil Balti With Rice

This hearty and warming vegan lentil balti and rice dish makes the most of pre-blended curry powder so that you don’t need a cupboard full of expensive spices to add flavour to your food.

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Costing around £1 per portion, this Balti is not only packed with flavour and nutritious ingredients, but it’s easy on the wallet too.

What is a Balti?

Traditionally, Balti is an Indian curry that is cooked and served in a thin metal pan, also known as a ‘Balti bowl’.

The name comes from the vessel the curry is served in rather than referring to any specific ingredients, but classically a balti combines chicken or goat with vegetables in a spicy tomato-based sauce.

In this vegan one-pot recipe the meat is replaced by lentils, and served with rice, but Balti is very often served with naan instead of rice if you’d prefer to make this swap.

We use tinned lentils in this recipe which don’t need pre-soaking, but if you want to use dried lentils then remember to soak them well before use.

Turn up the heat

This curry calls for 2 tbsp Balti curry powder and 1 large chilli, which creates a medium-hot curry.

If you want to increase the intensity of the heat, you can add more curry powder or chillies.

If you want to tone it down a bit then use less powder, or remove the seeds from the chilli. The seeds are the main source of the heat.

Freezing tip

The cooked, cooled curry can be frozen in bags or tubs for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat thoroughly to serve.

Total Time: 50 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Cuisine: Indian

Calories: 430

Servings: 4


Total Time: 50 minutes

Calories: 430

Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 0.5 0.5 celery stalks
  • 0.5 0.5 carrots, chopped
  • 0.25 0.25 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 0.25 0.25 large chilli, sliced
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp Balti curry powder
  • 0.25 0.25 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 0.25 0.25 tin of lentils
  • 0.25 0.25 cube vegetable stock
  • 60 60 ml water
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp sugar
  • 67.5 67.5 g basmati rice
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp salt
  • 180 180 ml boiling water
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, celery and carrots with a pinch of salt. Gently cook until beginning to soften.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli and curry powder to the pan and mix. Continue to cook, stirring all the time, until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, lentils and water, add the stock cube, sugar and season to taste. Bring to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. While the curry is cooking, tip the rice into a large pan and add the salt. Pour over the boiling water and stir once. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. After this time, turn off the heat but leave the lid on the pan and set aside.
  5. Check the curry is ready and that the carrots are tender. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Fluff up the rice with a fork and spoon into bowls. Top with the curry and serve hot.

Each 434g serving provides:

Fat 4.9g, Saturates 0.3g, Sugars 10.5g, Salt 5.4g


Ready for seconds? Discover our best vegan curry recipes!

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Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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