Thursday, December 2, 2010

Red Lentil Curry

I found these red lentils at a Mediterranean market and they were simply too beautiful to leave on the shelf. When you purchase a food item only because of the way it looks, with no real idea of what you will do with it, the challenge is to find a recipe that will make the endeavor worthwhile. These lentils are smaller and less substantial than the more common brown lentils, so they do not necessarily lend themselves to the same types of dishes. I'm a fan of curries, so that seemed like a good place to start. This is an easy main dish served over rice or Indian flat bread. This recipe serves 4-6.

2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp each: ground ginger, turmeric, cumin seeds
8 oz red lentils
2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
3-4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbps butter
2 tsps or more red curry powder
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups fresh spinach (optional)

  • Bring water to a boil and add ginger, turmeric and cumin seeds. 
  • Add the red lentils and lower heat to simmer, about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Add the potatoes and cook until lentils become soft.
  • Stir occassionally to prevent sticking.
  • Heat butter in a skillet and saute onion and pepper until onions begin to brown. 
  • Add curry powder and cook for another minute or two.
  • Add the garlic and tomatoes.
  • Add the lentil mixture. 
  • Cook for another minute or two.
  • Add fresh spinach, if desired, cook until just wilted, and serve over rice.

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