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Lentil Curry and Baked polenta

Clear the fridge curry


It is the end of the month, in the middle of the week, empty pantry and fridge situation. I had some roasted butternut in the fridge and a tin of lentils in the cupboard. And voila I could use my pantry staples to come up with this healthy Clear the fridge lentil curry.

It is easy to make and I used my trusty oven cooking method to make the polenta. And I managed to use up some leftovers.

You can load up on the spices and make it very hot or keep it mild for any child. My children love Polenta so if they don’t approve of the curry at least they can still have that.

Lentil curry with baked polenta

Baked Polenta

Polenta is a great pantry staple that can be turned into a meal with vegan and meat recipes. I buy my polenta and dry ingredients from Unwrappedco, a zero-waste store in our area. But you can also buy polenta from a local supermarket.

Have you tried making baked polenta? I really enjoy this method because I don’t need to stir and I don’t have a burnt saucepan afterward. I could also use the dish to serve the meal. And I don’t have volcanic eruptions that porridge-type food has when boiling, splattering all over the stove.

Here is a quick recipe:

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Add 1 cup Polenta to an ovenproof container, now add about 3-4 cups of water. Add 1 tsp of salt. Place in oven and stir a few times. It will cook for about 20-30 minutes, once it is thick add some extra water if needed. Add some Parmesan or Nutritional yeast and some olive oil.

You can find similar recipe ideas here:

One- tray cauliflower and chickpea curry

Easy dinners with Pesto Princess

Lentil curry with baked polenta

Lentil curry with baked Polenta

  • Author: Ankie Niesing
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 4 1x


When you think you have no ingredients to make a meal look a little further to the leftovers and pantry staples and see what you can come up with. This recipe is basically made from pantry staples and a few vegetables.



1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp of fresh ginger

1tbsp tomato puree

12 tsp of mild curry-add chili powder for extra spice. I also really like the Butter Chicken spice mix from Woolworths.

1 tin lentils

4 cups of chopped butternut

250ml water or stock

250ml coconut milk

Pinch of salt

Few handfuls of fresh spinach

Squeeze lemon juice

Serve with fresh coriander and toasted coconut flakes on baked polenta


Heat frying pan and add 1 tbsp of oil.

Add garlic and saute until soft. Also, add grated ginger and 1 heaped teaspoon of curry.

Now stir in chopped butternut, 1 tbs of tomato puree and coconut milk. You could also add some full cream plain yogurt at the end if you don’t have coconut milk.

Simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the butternut is soft. Add the tin of lentils.

Stir and add baby spinach, until wilted.

Adjust seasoning and serve with baked polenta.


This recipe could also be made in the Instant Pot.

But add the lentils and coconut milk after the butternut is cooked.

Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Slow release and add lentils and coconut milk. Lastly, add the spinach and lemon juice.



Ankie Niesing

Hi, I'm Ankie! Welcome to Wooden Spoon Kitchen, my pantry of life, love and health where we constantly stir laughter, learning, eating and cooking together!

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