Recipe by Zurie
------So easy, so healthy, so cheap! This is not a curry. It's a spicy, nutritious one-pot dish. Can -- actually should -- be made the day before, as flavours definitely improve on standing: this was clear when I tucked into the leftovers. It's not a glamorous dish: it's rustic and robust. It's quicker still to throw together if you first mix the spices together in a bowl, and also prepare the vegetables, before you start. Do not use substitutions (except those suggested) and do use fresh spices! Old spices are useless.------
Top Review by Karen Elizabeth
Made this much as directed, and had it as a main dish. Minor changes, was generous with the curry powder, (I used a roasted garam masala) and added the zucchini (my first home-grown zucchini!) a little earlier than directed. Otherwise, this was indeed cheap and easy, and I very much enjoyed the adddition of coconut milk. A versatile dish which most people would enjoy. Thank you Zuri, made in honour of your late husband.
- 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
- oil (for frying)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder, mild, good quality
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or use 1 T fresh ginger, grated)
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3 tomatoes, ripe, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 14 ounces coconut milk (400 ml)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups red lentils (the split red lentils)
- 1 cup carrot, chopped (about 3 carrots)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped (or butternut squash, in julienne strips)
- 1 cup peas (frozen is easiest)
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped parsley (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat a generous amount of oil in a medium pot (the spices absorb oil).
- Fry the chopped onion, stirring a few times, for 5 minutes or until softened. Use medium heat.
- Add the curry powder and spices. It's easiest and more practical to measure them before starting and mix them in a small bowl. (Curry, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, fennel seeds).
- Stir well, and fry spices with the onion for about 2 minutes.
- Add the peeled, chopped tomato and the sugar. (The tomatoes must be peeled and the sugar is essential).
- As coconut milk separates in the tin, empty into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, lentils, carrots and water to the pot with the spices.
- Stir everything well, and bring to boil over higher heat. When it starts boiling, put the lid on the pot, almost closed but not quite -- tilted a little.
- Reduce heat to low enough so pot simmers slowly. Simmer until lentils are tender and have absorbed the liquid -- about 20 - 25 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and peas, stir through, and simmer just a minute or two, until the two last vegetables are barely done and not mushy.
- Mound in a dish and keep warm until serving, or heat gently the next day. The flavor improves if made ahead of time.
- Sprinkle over parsley for colour just before serving.
- Serve with blobs of thick Greek yoghurt and a large bowl of sliced bananas sprinkled with lime or lemon juice. (Or a side dish of your choice).
- PLEASE NOTE: This is also a perfect, all-in-one side dish for meat-eaters. It is delicious with a bowl of oven-baked chicken pieces, flavored with seasoning salt and some Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce -- which is what I served with it last night. Then it only needed a green salad and some cold white wine!