Meatless Monday Recipe: Red Lentil Curry

On this brisk October morning, I’m excited to share a recipe that will warm you up from your head to your toes!  It’s one of my absolute favorites, and it’s so easy to do.  It may look like a lengthy list because there are lots of spices creating the wonderful flavor, but this is actually really easy and fast to prepare.

Red Lentil Curry

First, the ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato pureeAnd now for the how-to:
    1. Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear (this is very important or the lentils will get “scummy”).  Cover the lentils with 3 -3 1/2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) until lentils tender (add more water if necessary).
    2. While the lentils are cooking: In a large skillet or saucepan, cook the onions in 1-2 Tbsp water.
    3. While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, syrup, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
    4. Once the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
    5. Stir in the tomato puree and reduce heat.  Allow the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready.
    6. When the lentils are tender drain them briefly (they should have absorbed most of the water but you don’t want the curry to be too sloppy). Mix the curry base into the lentils and serve immediately.

There are many ways to enjoy this dish on its own, or as a side, but my personal fave is to serve as a main entree with toasted whole grain bread or ‘Woven Wheats’, an oil-free low-salt version of Triscuits that is sold at Whole Foods.  This will make lots of leftovers too because lentils go a long way.

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