When I hear the term “comfort food” I think of corn bread, chicken noodle soup, fried anything, mashed potatoes, etc etc… Lots of stuff that aren’t apart of my own diet. Curry is my comfort food. Its amazing – warm, spicy, filling without being heavy, flavorful, the list goes on. Mmm… It’s like a hug from the inside. Add the fact that it’s incredibly good for you and we’ve got a winner!
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times I that I’ll make a batch of curry then eat it for every meal of every day for a little too long and get over it. I did that not too long ago so I had to take a few months off. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and finally made it last night. Not to toot my own horn here but this might’ve been one of my best batches ever. For you other vegetarians/vegans out there I highly suggest trying this recipe. It’s difficult for me (and I assume other vegetarians as well) to get enough protein but with this little ditty up my sleeve, it becomes easier.
For those of you who aren’t vegan or vegetarian, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just the same. Check out the chicken in some of the pictures below. Vin loved the mix of that chicken, my rice and the curry. While trying to avoid the word “picky,” he’s not necessarily the most adventurous person when it comes to food so I’m going to take this as a win! 🙂
Here’s the recipe… Consider it a culinary hug from me to you.
Red Lentil Curry
1 cup red lentils + ¼ cup at the end
1½ cups low sodium veggie broth mixed
2 cups filtered tap water
2½ tablespoons madras curry powder
5 large basil leaves
5 stalks of cilantro
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups mixed veggies (I used a mix of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower that had been frozen then thawed and therefore listed separately from the fresh produce below)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 shallot, sliced thinly
3 handfuls (that’s a technical cooking term, right? 🙂 ) fresh spinach leaves
3 small Thai chilis, sliced thinly
½ lime, juiced
dash of cumin (remember that cumin is a very pungent taste so don’t use much before tasting it!)
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pepper and crushed red chili flakes to taste – I’d say salt here too but the curry powder that I use makes it pretty flavorful so, in my opinion, it’s already very savory
Rinse the lentils
Bring the water and broth to a boil and add the lentils and curry powder. Stir it up, lower the heat (I use pretty low heat for the rest of the cooking process) cover the pan and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
Add in the basil, cilantro, garlic, dash of cumin, ground ginger, crushed red chili, pepper and lime juice before letting it sit for another 2-5 minutes. You’ll notice that the lentils start to plump up and absorb a lot of the broth mixture.
Add in all of the veggies (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, bean sprouts, shallots and Thai chilis) but save the spinach for the very end to avoid overcooking. Once you’ve mixed them in stir occasionally. I usually leave the lid off for this part so I can see whats happening/how quickly everything’s cooking/make my house smell like curry etc… 🙂
When its done to your preference, consistency-wise, throw in the spinach, stir it in a little, turn off the heat and replace the lid. If it’s really liquid still, thats when you’d toss in the extra ¼ cup of lentils. They don’t need be cooked, really. With the lid on the pan they steam and end up with the perfect consistency (in my personal opinion). Let it sit and check on it every so often to stir the spinach in a little further and make sure that it isn’t starting to dry out at all. Serve it over rice or potatoes and enjoy!