Red Lentil Curry
Oh boy, do I feel so dumb this morning. Days like this, I wish I knew more about cars. I have no interest in cars or how they are made, the mechanism of it. I just know how to drive it and that’s it. When my car didn’t start, though, when I was supposed to go pick my five year old from preschool, I totally panicked. It had never happened before so I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t the battery. The lights were working correctly. My friend picked my boy up for me and she also asked my neighbor who happened to be outside doing some housework. He came over and fixed the problem in a finger snap. So it wasn’t anything complicated, it was pretty simple. My shift wasn’t in park correctly. That was it. I felt pretty dumb – but I had no idea! Now I know… Anyway, I just wanted to share my dumb moment with you all – and of course, these things are bound to happen while your husband is thousands of miles away in Madison, WI. But I sure am grateful for friends and neighbors who are willing to help. Seriously, it feels like a huge burden has been lifted from me (although it ended up the burden turned out to be pretty small, but at the time, I felt panic and helpless.)
Well, today, I am posting a very yummy and delicious recipe. I only discovered the goodness of lentils only a couple of years ago, when I was getting into blogging. One of many great things about blogging about food is that you get to learn about new and different food ingredients. I honestly had no idea what lentils were until I saw some recipes on other people’s blogs. Then my eyes opened and started seeing lentil recipes everywhere, and even found some lentil curries at my favorite Indian restaurants.
I am not sure if it counts as Indian or Thai, but it is a good mix of the two. I used coconut milk and red curry paste with some of my favorite Indian spices. It was really good, especially with some Jasmine rice (although you could use Basmati rice instead).
Lentils are really good for you. It’s got lots of nutrients that our body needs – this recipe is a little bit spicy. If you can’t handle heat very well, you may omit cayenne pepper and Jalapeno peppers. But if you love things a little spicy like myself, add them! Definitely add them!
And a little sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves always brighten up a dish like this. Another great thing about this curry is that you don’t need to worry about soaking the lentils before cooking it. They don’t need to be soaked. Only rinsed and picked.
- 1½ cups lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- ½ tablespoon garam masala
- ½ tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Indian curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 14 ounce can tomato puree (I used fire roasted diced tomatoes, pureed)
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- cilantro leaves to garnish
- Jasmine or Basmati rice, cooked
- In small bowl, combine garam masala, ground coriander, curry powder, and sugar. In large pan or saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the red curry paste and stir well. Add the seasoning mix to the pan and stir frequently, until the seasonings almost blackens. (Turn on the fan to high as it may get a little smoky)
- Add garlic and ginger to the pan, stirring. Add the pureed tomatoes (I used fire roasted diced tomatoes and blended it in my Vitamix – it’s got a great flavor with a little heat) and reduce the heat to medium.
- Stirring occasionally, add the lentils, and when the tomato puree starts to bubble a little bit, add the coconut milk. Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper if desired.
- Continue to cook until the sauce thickens, about 15-20 more minutes (or longer if needed) on simmer.
- Serve over Jasmine or Basmati rice, garnished with cilantro leaves.