My daughter-in-law, who spent a lot of her youth in India introduced us to lentils, but until this recipe I have never cooked them. I have never been terribly excited by the prospect of “lentil something” for dinner but under my new healthy body regime I had to face them.
I am now limiting red meat to three meals a week, fish to a minimum of three and legumes, chicken, pork, eggs are left to make up the rest. If I rule out breakfasts – nuts, yoghurt and fruit, that leaves 11 non-red-meat meals to be consumed – conclusion – have to learn how to cook with legumes. This is my first attempt at cooking with lentils. I had red, green and brown lentils in the pantry so first of all I had to find out how they were different. Basically the greens take a bit longer to cook than the reds. My inspiration recipe used red lentils but I didn’t have enough for the double quantity that I needed to make (we are heading off in the motor home soon and we take a pile of pre-made meals for the times when we can’t face BBQ and salad so I cook at least double quantities of freezable meals before we go). I overcame this shortage by soaking the green lentils in water while I did the rest of the prep and began the cooking, adding the red lentils and the soaked green lentils together when the time was right.
CURRIED LENTILS AND VEGETABLES
From my experience with cooking this meal I would add almost any vegetables that I had on hand to make up the vegetable portion of this meal. It is easy, cheap and filling and perfect for a cold Winters’ night, and ideal for around a camp fire – a one bowl meal that can be eaten with a spoon.
- 2 cups red lentils (if using green soak for 1/2 hour while doing food prep)
- 2 onions – finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 cups of chicken/vegetable stock or stock powder and water
- 4 tbs curry powder
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 sachet tomato paste
- 1 450 ml can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 head broccoli
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 2 cups peas or beans – canned
- natural yoghurt, coriander and quartered limes or lemon for serving
Add onion, garlic and curry powder to the pan, then cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add a bit more water if necessary.
Dust the the sweet potato with brown sugar and cinnamon and cook covered in the microwave until only just tender. Set aside.
Add washed and rinsed lentils to the pan and stir well to coat. Add stock, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Add vegetables, apart from the peas, and return the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add peas for final 2 minutes, then stir in half the coriander.
Serve the curry with yoghurt mixed with a little lemon juice, some quartered lime/lemon and sprinkle with coriander.