Coconut Lentil Curry

Not sure if COVID-19 has stopped the May celebration of lentils, but I won’t let it stop me.

The following recipe’s name should be something along the lines of Cathy’s Coconut Lentil Curry Recipe Modified from Keith’s Recipe who Modified it from the Endless Meal’s Web Page who Modified it from a Cookbook Called Vij’s at Home. That, my friends, is how recipes and cooking works.

I don’t know what it is about spring and being isolated to avoid fast spreading disease, but I have been motivated the last few weeks to create lentil dishes to change up our regular diet. Lentils are of course a “health” food, and our dear Canada is the world’s leading producer of this mighty pulse. It provides protein, folate, fibre, iron, potassium and manganese. Yum!

Here’s what I did for my version:

What you need:

A big pot
Oil (about 2 tbsp more or less)
Cumin, ground (2 – 3 tbsp)
Coriander, ground (2 – 3 tbsp)
Garlic, 2 heads, finely chopped
2-28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
Ginger, ground (2 – 3 tbsp)
Turmeric, ground (2 tbsp)
4 tsp salt
2 cups dried brown lentils
Cayenne pepper (1 tbsp or to taste)
4 – 6 cups water
400 mL or so coconut milk
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup chopped parsley

Spices can be adjusted to your own taste. If uncertain, start with a smaller amount, and build on that as it simmers.

How to:

Heat your oil in your trusty pot. Over medium heat, add you chopped garlic and TEND TO IT. You want it cook, but you don’t want it to burn. After spending the time peeling and chopping two heads of garlic you don’t want to ruin your hard work by burning it. Tending to it means you stand there, wooden spoon in hand and stir it with love until it’s just right. Just right means just on this side of turning golden brown.

Add your spices, cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and salt. Stir. Add your two cans of crushed tomatoes, and stir. Keep the heat up, but watch for splurts and splats of tomato leaping out of the pot. If that happens, lower the temperature.

Add your two cups of rinsed and picked over lentils, and water. Stir. Bring this to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and let it simmer for as long as you can stand it. Watch that it doesn’t get too dry. If it does, add more water. I usually keep the kettle on and add boiling water.

Towards the end of cooking, add your coconut milk and tomatoes. Let this cook for another half hour or so. Finish with about a cup’s worth of chopped parsley.

My predecessors look like they serve this with rice, which would be a perfect pairing.

DON’T FORGET: Imbibe in your favourite beverage. If that has alcohol, all the better. Cheers, friends. I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes.

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