Hello everyone and welcome back! How was your weekend? It is always nice to take a break from the usual routine of life and breathe a little before starting back up on Monday. Not that weekends are always relaxing, but you are usually doing something different from your weekday activities. So one of my hobbies is reading recipe books. Quirky, I know. I don’t always have time to do it now, but when I was first married (and had a fresh supply of new recipe books) I used to sit in bed at night and read them. My husband would tease me because he would come into the room and I would have 4-5 recipe books open on the bed. I think it is so fun seeing all the different food possibilities out there. Well one of those cookbooks I enjoy perusing is the Everyday Vegetarian Cooking in the picture above. While we aren’t vegetarians, we do enjoy a quasi-vegetarian lifestyle and vegetarian/vegan meals are a great way to get a lot of good, healthy nutrients. One of our favorite recipes from this cookbook is the Red Lentil Curry.Lentils are so good for you! They are high in protein and fiber. They are extremely filling, mostly because of their high fiber, so it is a great way to really satisfy your body’s cravings without over eating. We love this curry, not only because of its nutritional value, but because it tastes amazing and it’s a comfort food — warm and filling. I recommend doing all your chopping prep work ahead of time. The first time I made this I didn’t do that; I found myself very frantic to get each step ready in time. Chop your onion, garlic, chili and tomatoes. Open your coconut milk and have your spices ready. If you do that this recipe is a piece of cake:-)Put your lentils, turmeric and broth into a pot and boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes. While lentils are simmering, sauté the onions in a little oil; once they become soft add the garlic, chili, cumin and coriander. Continue sautéing for a few more minutes. A word of caution. The chili is extremely spicy. You don’t need to worry about the flavor of the curry. There are enough other flavors to dilute the spice. Be careful while preparing the chili because it will leave a burning sensation in your hands if you simply half, seed and chop the chili touching it with your hands. I did this the first two or three times I made this and my hands would burn whenever they got even slightly warm (like holding my husband’s hand) for about three days after making it. I would suggest wearing gloves when touching the chili or leaving it inside a plastic produce sack and only touching it through the plastic. Add your onion, spices and tomatoes to your lentil mixture and stir occasionally for a few minutes. Add your coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.
Red Lentil Curry
1 ¼ C red lentils
2 C vegetable broth
½ t turmeric
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 T garlic, minced
1 small green chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
2 tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ C coconut milk
- Chop onion. Seed and finely dice green chili. Peal and mince garlic. Chop tomatoes.
- Place lentils, broth and turmeric into a medium large pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom.
- While lentils are simmering sauté the onion in a skillet with the olive oil. Cook until soft and then add the garlic, chili, cumin and coriander. Cook for another minute or two. Add the onion and spices into the lentil pot and then add the tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring often.
- Add coconut milk and cook until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.