Red Lentil Curry
This is one of the easiest recipes for Indian Curry I have ever made. I love Indian cuisine and I think I have all the spices one would need to prepare anything, but for some reason, I could never get the curries right. I am not a fan of cooking dishes for hours and I do not own a pressure cooker, so making curries would always result in a beautiful smell in the house, but the taste wasn't there.
Until last night, I thought it would be impossible to get a restaurant-level Indian curry made at home (under half an hour), but I was wrong! There are only a couple of steps to make it right and they are plain easy.
First is the coconut milk - I saw many times the milk being included in the recipes, but I always opted for water and chopped tomatoes to cut down on the calories. Unfortunately, if you want a good curry, you need to use either coconut milk or cream. I try to add only half a can, but you can use all if you want more sauce at the end.
Second is the curry paste - until this time, I only used spices and minced garlic and ginger, but the curry paste makes the sauce so delightfully fragrant that the cooking process can be shortened.
With these two steps, I have changed the entire way of looking at many recipes and I will be making plenty of curries in the future. Stay tuned!
Ingredients (2-3 people):
- 1½ cups lentils
- ½ can of coconut milk or cream
- couple of tbsp of tomato purée
- ½ large onion
- 1-2 tsp red curry paste
- ½ tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- pinch or two of cayenne pepper
Rinse lentils couple of times and cook according to directions on the packaging. Do not overcook as we will be cooking them some more at the end. Drain and set aside.
Melt some butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent.
Add all of the spices and curry paste and stir fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the tomato purée and coconut milk and stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the lentils, stir to combine and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. With Indian curries the case is usually the longer the better, but in this instance, the sauce is so fragrant, that, once you put the lentils in, they instantly take all the flavour in and in just 5 minutes they are ready to eat. You can simmer them for longer if you want, but keep an eye not to overcook because they will become very mushy.
Serve over rice.