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Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup – Recipe in a Jar

I wanted to give a birthday present to a friend who is very much into reducing her footprint and zero waste. I decided to have a go at a making a recipe in a jar. Something that could be cooked with little effort, one evening after work. Simply add oil and water and you’re done. Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup is a one pot wonder that will make you smile no matter whether you’re giving it or eating it.

glass jar filled with lentils and spices on bench beside brown bowl of curry coconut and lentil soup

Make a gift, make a difference

If you haven’t made a gift before, this is a good place to start as it’s simple and quick. There are many recipes that can be put into jars. The reason I like this one for Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup is that it’s almost no effort for the recipient to make. By using well washed jars that previously contained condiments, I have extended the life of the jar and cut down on unnecessary packaging. The recipe is vegetarian and vegan so your good to go from that perspective too.

Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup
Recipe in a Jar

two glass jars on bench with glass jars, assorted spices and lentils in various dishes

Ingredients for Recipe in a Jar (per jar)

Instructions for preparing Recipe in a Jar

  1. Ensure jar is clean and dry, with a tight fitting lid
  2. Place coconut flakes or chips in a dry pan and toast for a few minutes over a low heat then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Mix turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala and panch phoran together to form a spice mix.
  4. Layer lentils into the jar, 1/4 cup at a time. Add few tablespoons of spice mix to form a layer followed by the coconut milk powder, stock powder and more lentils.
  5. Fill jar almost to the top and add dried spring onions if using.
  6. Twist the cooled coconut chips into a small piece of paper and add to the jar (these will be removed before the soup is made).
  7. Seal the jar tightly and include the instructions (below) with your gift.
two glass jars filled with lentils and spices on a bench with red lentils scattered in front

Instructions for making Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup

coconut curry and lentil soup in brown bowl sitting on bench alongside spoon and jar of lentils and spices
  • Place two tablespoons of oil in a saucepan on a medium heat.
  • Once oil is hot, remove the wrapped coconut chips from jar and set aside.
  • Tip entire jar into saucepan. Stir soup mix around in saucepan to coat in oil and allow curry aromas to release.
  • Once sizzling, pour 6 cups of cold water into the saucepan, stir soup mix and bring to the boil.
  • Once the soup is boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasoning – you may need more salt.
  • When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowl and garnish with coconut chips.

Makes 1 recipe in a jar = 9 cups of soup


If you don’t have one of the spice mix ingredients, don’t worry too much. The other ingredients will still taste great. Tip! If you don’t have garam masala, a tablespoon of good quality curry powder will give a flavour boost.

two glass jars filled with lentils and spices on a bench with red lentils scattered in front

Take some time when you’re filling the jars, so the layering remains distinct. As you can see from these jars, I made one with horizontal layers and another with diagonal layering of the spices. I think the finished result looks very attractive. Using a funnel for the lentils makes a big difference between them ending up in the jar rather than the bench and floor.

Once you master the basics of recipes in jars, you’ll be able to try lots of different combinations. Try to keep it simple for the person making the recipe. After all, it’s a gift, not a chore!

*This page contains affiliate links to Aussie Health Products. You will receive a discount on your first order & I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from any purchases made via the links. This goes some way to paying for web hosting fees.

8 comments… add one
  • bitemebypamtree July 16, 2019, 7:21 am

    This is a great idea and has lots of potential. Wonderful gift idea for all sorts of occasions and reusing glass jars. I have seen something for making rice pudding at my local supermarket (IGA)

    • Fiona Ryan July 27, 2019, 1:30 pm

      Well that’s going to send me off down a research path now… *Googles rice pudding all in one*

  • Shannan July 16, 2019, 7:58 am

    Love this!!

  • Lyn Riddett July 16, 2019, 8:32 am

    Absolutely brilliant – love it!

    • Fiona Ryan July 27, 2019, 1:27 pm

      Thanks. I gave a jar to another friend as part of her birthday present and she made it the same weekend for her lunches for the week ahead.

  • Kate Oszko July 16, 2019, 4:36 pm

    I probably won’t be giving it away 🙂 – sounds perfect for a chilly evening! I also learned something new – panch phoran! Thanks!!

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