Not intentionally, people, not intentionally. Let me be clear about that: we did not actually intend to have a vegan meal. I know I get crazy ideas sometimes, especially concerning food (God bless poor, patient B), but I am not that crazy. Honestly, we were just trying to clean out the pantry.
We had a bag of green lentils left in the pantry from an ill-fated soup attempt prior to moving to France, so B researched recipes to use up green lentils that didn't make us both gag. He found this green lentil curry recipe and asked if I would be amenable. Clearly, I was. I love Indian food, the spicier the better. I was totally game to make this.
We did have to do some ingredient shopping, but please don't let the ingredient list put you off - a lot of these things seem exotic, but we went to the Krishna Indian Grocery here in Greenville and found the spices fairly cheaply for a large quantity (on a completely unrelated side note, expect to see plenty of curry recipes in the coming months). Don't be intimidated to go into an "ethnic" grocery store. It might be wildly different from your standard Bi-Lo, but they've got tons of good stuff, often cheaper and better quality than you would find in a mainstream grocery store. I absolutely love going in Indian and Asian groceries - so much fun.
Anyway. The green lentil curry was surprisingly tasty - and filling. I wasn't so much concerned for myself since my appetite isn't as big, but this even filled B up. It had a great flavor, but - surprise, surprise - we thought it could've used more heat. A lot more heat, actually. We will waaaaay up the cayenne amount next time, and throw a few red pepper flakes in for good measure.
We'll definitely keep this recipe for future use, and maybe tweak it as we see fit next time. Have you ever attempted to make Indian food? What tweaks would you make?
E & B
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cup dried lentils
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 ounces green beans, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 ounces kale, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
In a small bowl, combine ginger, garlic, coriander, and ground cumin.
Stir in 1/4 cup of water to make a paste.
In a small skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.
Add cumin seeds and cook over moderately high heat for 5 seconds, just until sizzling.
Add shallot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about one minute (it took us way less time)
Add the spice paste and let cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook until thick, about a minute longer. Remove from heat.
In a saucepan, combine lentils, turmeric, and five cups of water; bring to a boil.
Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until lentils are barely tender.
Add green beans, kale, carrot, 3/4 of the cilantro, and cayenne, and season with salt.
Cook until lentils and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Scrape spice paste and remaining cilantro into lentils.
Simmer five minutes longer, then serve with basmati rice and warm naan.
This makes four servings, each at approximately 232 calories. It's pretty healthy, with a lot of fiber. The oil is the worst part.