Madras Lentils

This Madras Lentils recipe is so good you will want to whip up a big pot and stock your freezer with a week’s worth of lunches!

Whip up a big pot of Madras Lentils and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Let’s talk Tasty Bite.

Have you ever tried these delectable little packages?

I adore them. Quick, easy, and seriously delicious.

My favorite is the Tasty Bite Madras Lentils, which tastes like an Indian-flavor-infused hearty vegetarian chili. Which is obviously right up my alley.

Whip up a big pot of Madras Lentils and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

While you really can’t beat one-step-one-minute convenience, you CAN make a huge batch for really cheap in just a few hours at home.

Don’t be put off by the time it takes to make this madras lentils recipe. Out of the two hours total, only about 20 minutes is active time.

There’s lots of simmering action, so feel free to go about your day while your house starts to smell completely amazing.

Whip up a big pot of Madras Lentils and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

I decided to use a mixture of adzuki and mung beans because they perfectly replicate the texture of this dish. If you have a hard time finding adzuki beans, use regular “small red beans.” The adzuki beans are really tasty, you can find them here on Amazon.

Don’t forget to plan for time to soak the adzuki beans overnight!

Mung beans are green and very round. When cooked they retain their shape and toothiness, so they add lots of great texture.

Unlike the adzuki beans, they don’t need to be soaked so they just get thrown in halfway through the cooking time.

Whip up a big pot of Madras Lentils and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

So…. the elephant in the room.

Madras Lentils… without any lentils?

Yep. I tried making this with regular brown lentils, red lentils, and French lentils but it just wasn’t the same.

Trust me on this one and just go with it.

Whip up a big pot of Madras Lentils and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

If you want to get really crazy you can double this recipe in a big ol’ 6-quart pot and stock your freezer with your very own instant Madras Lentils.

If you keep frozen prepared naan in your freezer (Trader Joe’s!) you’ll be seriously ready for lunchtime nirvana.

How to Make Madras Lentils

Heat the olive oil in a 3-quart or larger pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno; sauté until onion begins to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Looking for a lentil madras recipe? This Madras Lentils recipe is so good you will want to whip up a big pot and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Add the minced garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, red pepper flakes, and ground ginger. Stir well to coat the vegetables in spices. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.

Looking for Indian madras lentils recipe? This Madras Lentils recipe is so good you will want to whip up a big pot and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Add the soaked adzuki beans along with the vegetable broth and tomato sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook uncovered for 45 minutes.

Looking for vegan madras lentils? Check out this recipe!

Add the mung beans to the pot and allow to cook for another 45 minutes.

Stir in the half-and-half, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Looking for madra lentils? This Madras Lentils recipe is so good you will want to whip up a big pot and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Optionally garnish with cilantro.

Looking for lentils madras? This Madras Lentils recipe is so good you will want to whip up a big pot and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Serve with rice and/or Naan bread.

Looking for madres lentils? This Madras Lentils recipe is so good you will want to whip up a big pot and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Check out our other Indian Recipes!

Here’s the Recipe!

Whip up a big pot of Madras Lentils and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Madras Lentils

This Madras Lentils recipe is so good you will want to whip up a big pot and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

Yield: About 9 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, stemmed, and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup dry adzuki beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/3 cup mung beans
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half*
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional garnish with cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 3-quart or larger pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno; saute until onion begins to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, red pepper flakes, and ground ginger. Stir well to coat the vegetables in spices. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the soaked adzuki beans along with the vegetable broth and tomato sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook uncovered for 45 minutes.
  4. Add the mung beans to the pot and allow to cook for another 45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the half-and-half, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Optionally garnish with cilantro.
  7. Serve with rice and/or Naan bread.

Notes

*Substitute coconut milk for vegan.

Nutrition

Yield:

9 Cups

Serving Size:

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131|Total Fat: 5g|Saturated Fat: 1g|Trans Fat: 0g|Unsaturated Fat: 3g|Cholesterol: 5mg|Sodium: 612mg|Carbohydrates: 18g|Fiber: 5g|Sugar: 5g|Protein: 5g|

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

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Did you make this recipe?

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Whip up a big pot of Madras Lentils and stock your freezer with a week's worth of lunches!

January 13, 2017 | Last Updated on July 15, 2021 by Linda

51 thoughts on “Madras Lentils”

  1. I used your recipe. After reading the above comments I soaked both adzuki and mung beans. Neither one cooked in the amout of time specified. So I put the whole recipe in the crockpot and cooked until the mountains flattened out and the plains rose to the sky and they were still not soft. Therefore, I conclude I got old beans. In checking the label I found these beans were from China which does not have good food laws. Perhaps if I had gotten Japanese they would have been a better product.

    Thanks for the recipe. I do love those Tasty Bites.

    Reply
  2. I’m trying this for the first time today. Like many others, the mung beans are not softening up. It’s still cooking as I write this (perhaps an extra hour so far), but they still are done.

    It also tastes rather salty. Did anyone else find that to be the case? As of this point, I’m thinking I’ll try it again but with both beans soaked and a lot less salt.

    Reply
  3. This recipe made me a hero for my daughter who ate only Taste Bite Madras lentils for lunch every school day for a YEAR!!! Thank you!! The spices are perfect.

    Reply
  4. I was SO excited for this recipe but I just finished it and it looks nothing like your pretty photos and both my beans are very crunchy…:(. I bought both beans from the amazon links recommended. I don’t know why it didn’t work. I’m looking at the Jiva Organic website that made the Moong beans and the 2 recipes listed said they need to be soaked 4 hours and the other says to soak overnight. So, maybe that’s where I went wrong. I only soaked the adzuki beans.It seems most comments above it has worked great, so I’d love to figure out what went wrong…I simmered it for the entire time…should I have had it at more of a boil? Or just soaked the moong?

    Reply
  5. I’m eating the Tasty Bites right now for lunch. I like them but it seems like they’ve been scrimping a lot on the beans lately. I searched online and this recipe came up and I’m going to give it a try! Hopefully be able to adapt it to our instant pot. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Excellent flavor! I used a 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce and cooked it with a splatter screen instead of a lid, thereby avoiding the need for tomato paste. Also, I used a jalapeño from a jar. Really yummy!

    Reply
  7. Thank you so much for this recipe I’ve tried other knock versions of the tasty bites but they never worked. This is awesome and oh so satisfying.

    Reply
  8. I have no time for soaking… do you think include make it in a crockpot? If yes, how would you adjust time and water?

    Reply
    • I think you could make it in a crockpot, but I would have to test to find out the right time and water. If you try it, let us know how it works out and how you did it.

      – Linda

      Reply
    • I don’t think it is spicy, but everyone is different. I suggest you leave those out for your family or add in a smaller amount and adjust as you see fit for your family’s taste. You might cut back on the black pepper too.

      – Linda

      Reply
      • I had high hopes but this recipe did not work for me. I followed the instructions exactly and couldn’t get the mung beans cooked through, even with an extra half hour of cooking. After adding the mung beans, it says to cook another 45 min., which I did with the lid remaining off. Perhaps it would have worked with the lid on.

  9. If I would want to make it with Lentils would I just replace the beans with lentils in the same quantity? I got a ton of lentils to use up and really like the sound of this recipe but would like to use lentils!

    Thanks for sharing your amazing recipes!

    Reply
  10. Hi – found this by googling to try a homemade version of the tastybite madras lentils and am so excited to try your recipe – your pics are gorgeous! You mentioned cooking a double batch in a big crock pot – would you still start the onions and spices on the stove? Any idea how long to cook in a crock pot, and high or low? Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Pearl,

      I didn’t use a crock pot for the large batch, just a big 6 quart pot, so you can use the same recipe instructions, just use a larger pot.

      Reply

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