Thursday, April 8, 2010

Red Lentil Curry (Gluten Free,Vegan)


Lentils are a natural in Indian curry dishes since their origin is of South Western Asia. These little red protein powerhouses are the sweeter variety to their green and brown cousins and are most suitable for stews. One of the advantages of cooking with lentils is that they don’t have to be soaked like other legumes so this makes for a quick and easy dish. The result of this delectable curry is a filling and hearty main meal served with basmati rice. Thanks to Shirley Klein, my mother in law, for sharing this recipe with me.

Serves 6 to 8


Ingredients

1 cup red lentils
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fennel
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
2 large red tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup tomato puree
¼ cup shredded coconut (optional)

1   Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear (this is very important or the lentils will get "scummy"), put the lentils in a medium sized pot with water to cover and simmer until lentils tender. This should take 10-15 minutes.
2   While the lentils are cooking: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the onions  and coat with oil, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until onions are browned somewhat.
3   While the onions are cooking, combine the mustard seed, cinnamon, fennel, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
4   Stir in the tomatoes and tomato puree and reduce heat, allow the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready. When the lentils are tender drain them briefly (they should have absorbed most of the water but you don't want the curry to be too sloppy). Mix the curry base into the lentils and serve immediately garnished with coconut.
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