Monday, March 12, 2012

Lucky: Lentil & Chickpea Curry with Coconut Milk



There are plenty of things I love about living in this beautiful province - the copious amounts of sunshine, even in the depths of winter; the endless, blue blue sky; the quirky, lovely people; the fact that we never, ever change our clocks forwards or backwards; how we call a hoodie a bunnyhug; and that we boast some of the most fertile, productive agricultural land in the whole world.  Saskatchewan is a prolific producer of Durum wheat, canola, mustard, peas, and of course lentils.  A whopping 61% of the world's finest lentils are grown practically in my backyard.  Please forgive if I sound like a Sask tourism ad - I just really dig my little corner of the world.





Lentils are a pantry superstar; if you've got 'em, then you've got dinner.  The thing to remember is to cook the right lentils for the right dish.  Red split lentils were made for soup, as they fall apart when happily simmered.  Green lentils have a seed coat, which helps them retain their lens shape during cooking.  These little guys are nutritional dynamos.  Bursting with protein and fibre, low in fat and gluten free, they make an excellent meatless dinner option.  I think it's cool to eat more plants and less animals, so lentils are on a regular rotation in my kitchen.




Their adaptability to all kinds of flavours is insane - lemon, oregano and feta for a comforting soup; walnuts, herbs and bacon in a pilaf; and my favourite: all spiced up with curry and coconut milk in a super delicious one pot meal.  Lentils, in all their nutritional glory, are also incredibly affordable, so if you're a girl on a budget like me, cooking lentils just makes good financial sense.  We can always use some of that, right?


 

I've been making a variation of this curry for years and years - since my days as a rosie-cheeked art student in MontrĂ©al.  It's great because you can add whatever veg you have in your fridge, though my fave veg in this are cauliflower and peas.  The coconut milk mellows the spice and adds richness, and really, it is nectar of the gods, isn't it?  Using curry paste makes it simple too, so you don't have to fuss with a bunch of spices, though I did pump up my mild curry paste with more cayenne and coriander.  Most of the ingredients you have on hand, so it's an excellent meal to throw together when you just can't bring yourself to hit the grocery store, yet again.  The recipe makes a rather large batch, but it freezes well.  Don't forget to warm up some Naan bread - it's great for curry scooping!




One last thing about lentils then I promise to leave you alone for awhile.  Apparently they are symbolic of luck and money due to their cute little coin shape.  Some cultures cook them up on January 1st in hopes they'll bring financial prosperity for the coming year.  Okay, I totally didn't cook lentils on New Years Day but I'm hoping it's not too late for the luck/money thing, as I'm procrastinating having to do my taxes hardcore and can use all the help I can get.




Lentil and Chick Pea Curry with Coconut Milk 

3 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 medium carrots, diced
3 tbsp mild Indian curry paste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3 cups (750ml) crushed tomatoes
2 540 ml cans coconut milk
2 cups whole green lentils, rinsed and picked through
2 cups cooked chickpeas (540ml can) rinsed
3 tbsp honey
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup frozen peas
veggie stock (optional)
handful of cilantro, chopped
hot sauce
plain yogurt

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, a minute or two.  Add the garlic and ginger, carrots, curry paste, spices and salt.  Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, chickpeas and honey.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low so it's simmering.  Cover.  Stir every 10 minutes or so.  Should take about 40 minutes for the lentils to cook.  When they are tender, stir in the cauliflower and peas.  Cook just until cauliflower is soft. If curry is too thick, thin it with a bit of veggie stock or water.  Stir in cilantro.  Adjust seasonings with more salt, pepper, and if you like it spicy, you can add hot sauce too.  Scoop into bowls and top with plain yogurt and cilantro.  Warm Naan bread as a side.  Serves 6-8.





37 comments:

  1. This looks awesome Renee - so healthy and delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks divine. I love lentils and I'm always looking for new ways to cook them. Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just finished my supper and you're making my mouth waster again! I love lentils, and am always on the look-out for a new recipe to try. This curry looks so satisfying and flavorful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks wonderful! And just in time for the current downpour and generally crappy weather in my neck of the woods. Love the Saskatchewan trivia too...I had no idea about lentils and not participating in daylight savings. I'm such a bad Canadian.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ok, Renee. This looks so good. I'll be making this soon and will report back to you with the results. You may just get the thumbs-up from my vegetarian adverse husband :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Sara! Steph and Jess, glad you share the lentil love! Dinnerversions, I doubt you're a bad Canadian. Hope the weather improves where you are! Tracy, let me know how it goes!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Renee! I wish we lived in the same country! this looks brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This lentil curry looks amazing! I'm not familiar with Indian curry paste, just powder. What is Indian Curry Paste?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, this looks divine! It shot to the top of my must-make list. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had to learn to love lentils but now I've got the hang of it. Adding curry sounds like a terrific idea and I can't think of anything I don't like coconut milk in. Another winning creation, lady! Wishing you luck, money, and a painless tax return!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This looks amazing!!! I will try it soon in my crockpot!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tried this for dinner tonight -SO delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. oh yes, yum. Do you think the indian curry paste could be replaced with curry powder? I've never used the paste before.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Katey I wish we lived in the same country too! Jeanette, curry paste has Indian spices and oil combined together in mild, medium, or hot. You can find it in the Asian section of your grocery store, usually. Julie, thank you so much :)Shelley, thanks I hope my return is painless too. VW, good idea for the crockpot. Sarah, so happy it turned out for you! Emily, if you don't have curry paste, use about 2 tbsp curry powder instead. You may have to add more coriander and cumin too. The curry paste is worth seeking out though - all the spices are in the jar!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My mom used to us lentil soup or stew all the time and no offense to my mom, but her lentils never came close to looking this scrumptious! Love the color of this curry and I'd like a big bowl right now please =) Anyway, I am featuring this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It's a pleasure following your creations…

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wish I could dig into that bowl of curry! It looks scrumptious!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, just saw your photo on Serious Eats. What a lovely post and even lovelier photos. The recipe is to die for, adding it to my list. You have a great blog!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This dish looks so hearty and delicious! We both like curry so I will try this one. It is healthy for us to have a meatless meal here and there, thanks for reminding us to eat our legumes! This is a good recipe for the cabin too! I love how positive and encouraging your blog is, it is inspiring for us non-chefs out there. Thanks for all the "labour of love" work you do!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just had this for dinner tonight- very very yummy. We had it with rice and topped it with sirucha :-)Delish.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you SO MUCH everyone, especially those of you who've tried the recipe - so happy you enjoyed this curry as much as I did!

    ReplyDelete
  21. That was delicious! I will add it to my go-to recipes for vegetarian entrees. Deelish!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Had to stop by and tell you that I made this tonight and it was wonderful! Grilled a little pita, scooped it up -- fabulous!! Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is delicious. Co-worker brought it in to work. Making it this weekend.
    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I would love to know from anybody who used a crockpot to cook this, how it turned out, how long it cooked, and if any changes to the recipe were needed? If my husband and I like it, we might take some to our bible study group the next time its our turn to bring dinner.

    ReplyDelete
  25. So glad I stumbled on your site! I love happy accidents! I'm way over on the east coast {New Brunswick} and the weather here right now is rainy, cold and just plain yuck. I plan to spend my Saturday making this nourishing dish.
    ~Becki

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm so happy you guys like this curry as much as I do! Becki - welcome!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This curry is actually cooking and it smells so delicious in the house ! Tasty - spicy (but not "piquant) ! Perfect for everybody ! As I like to eat a little bit "piquant" I will add a little bit of hot sauce in mine. Yummmm ! Thank you for this awesome recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. This was the first thing I've ever cooked by myself (usually the boyfriend does all the cooking for me). I'm very hesitant about working with meats so I thought this was a good recipe to start off with. It came out great, and I have two plastic containers to last me the whole week for lunch if I wanted to! Thanks for the recipe! Notes: I was fine with ~800mls coconut milk, replaced honey with a bit of sugar, replaced cayenne pepper with some Fiesta brand Pico De Gallo mix, and used curry powder instead. Mmm!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I cannot believe I haven't commented yet on this recipe! I've made this recipe three times now and it comes out perfect every time. I love the combination of cauliflower, coconut milk, curry and lentils. The only thing I add is a few chopped jalapenos for added spice. So, SO good every time we've made it and such a great vegetarian meal. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Making this right now. Haven't tasted but can attest to the wonderful smell. Something that smells this good can only be to die for! Thanks for the wonderful recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Made this for dinner tonight, with spinach subbed in for cauliflower. Really tasty and very easy.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is SO yummy!! I have made it three times now, but only ever with curry powder, sticking with the exact recipe for the rest. Have you ever tried it with curry powder? I am just wondering if matters and is a lot better with the paste? I will definitely make sure to pick up the paste if you say yes! :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks everyone for letting me know how much you enjoy the curry. Yay! Maureen, stick with the curry powder if it's working for you. For comparison sake you could try curry paste if you like. Over the years I've made it with curry powder and enjoyed it too, but like the paste a smidge more :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi, Renee! I found your recipe through pinterest, and wanted to let you know my husband and I just made this, and it was amazing! Great work, and thank you for sharing the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Made this last night for dinner, with a couple substitutions -- I didn't have cauliflower, so I used green pepper (chopped) instead; no yogurt, so used sour cream. So, so delicious! Very hearty too. We both loved it and are looking forward to the copious amount of leftovers :) (I expect that like most curries it will be even better the next day). Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I found this recipe on Pinterest as well. I finally got around to making it for dinner tonight, and it's amazing! I love coconut milk, and I was looking for more ways to cook with lentils. My boyfriend and I are vegetarian, so this is going right into the rotation. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...