Heat the oil in a deep frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the butter and cook the onion gently for 8–10 minutes until lightly golden.
Add the capsicum and garlic, sprinkle with the curry powder and mix well. Cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the lentils and add 700ml of cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 20–30 minutes until the lentils are almost tender but not mushy, and the water has been absorbed.
Stir in the coconut milk and simmer uncovered for a further 5–10 minutes. Season to taste and add the chopped coriander, if you like. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with with extra coriander. Serve hot with rice and/or flatbread.
DEAD SIMPLE! This was the perfect introduction to lentils for me - though I must admit I found the end result a tad bland (sorry Zoe - next time I'll be adding extra vegies & more garlic & curry powder). Also, I only got 4 small serves from this recipe. That said, it IS a great starting point for a more complex curry - so thank you! - 09 May 2011