I'm a real sucker for curry recipes. I'm an even bigger sucker for curry recipes that I come across that I already have all of the ingredients on hand for, and this Curried-Red Lentil Stew with Vegetables was just that. I spotted this lovely over at Dana Treat one afternoon, and within a couple of hours I sat down to a big bowl of curry.
The recipe below is exactly as she listed it. I decided to add 1/2 tsp ground coriander (because I love me some coriander), and I subbed kale for the spinach. This dish has a mild level of spice which could easily be kicked up a few notches with a couple of fresh chillies (which I'm known to do), but I decided to keep this nice and mellow this go around. This stew was even tastier the next day -- hooray for great leftovers!
Curried Red-Lentil Stew with Vegetables
(from Dana Treat)
Serve this stew over basmati rice.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (2 x 1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
5 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
3/4 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
5 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 cup frozen peas, not thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat a heavy 4-5 quart pot over moderate heat and then add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Cook the onion with a sprinkling of salt, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add spices and cook over low heat for 1 minute.
Stir in lentils and 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add carrots and another sprinkling of salt and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender and lentils have broken down into a coarse puree, 15-20 minutes.
Stir in spinach and peas and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and season stew with salt and pepper. If necessary, add enough water to thin stew so that it can be ladled over rice.
(Stew without spinach or peas can be made and chilled, uncovered, until completely cooled, then covered for up to 5 days. Reheat over moderately low heat, thinning with water to a pourable consistency and stirring frequently, before adding remaining ingredients.)