Monday, April 13, 2009

Lentil Curry with Potatoes, Carrots, Spinach, and Chickpeas

This is another one of those dishes that I discovered years ago but have recently fallen out of rotation. It is chock full of healthy vegetables, legumes, and spices. Add brown rice and you have a complete protein that is delicious and filling. The amount of ingredients makes it a little bit of work, but a lot of those ingredients are spices and just need to be measured out. You can do most of the prep work after you've started cooking the onions.

If you don't use ginger often and want to use fresh but are tired of the remainder going bad before you want to use it again, try this: peel and chop all of the ginger at once, then put a tablespoon of what you're not using in each of the compartments of an ice cube tray. Add just enough water to come to the top of the ginger and put it in the freezer. Once the cubes have frozen, you can put them in a freezer bag or freezer container and you have it ready whenever you need it, in just the right amount.

And here's an even better tip you may not have realized: you don't have to buy an entire piece of ginger at the store. They sell it by the pound so just find a piece that looks fresh and pull a knob from it. One knob will give you 4-5 tablespoons, which is more than enough than you will most likely need for a while.

I only made one change to this dish. The original recipe does not have regular peas in it, but when I made it the first time I kept thinking it had peas in it, and I would be surprised when I was eating it that there weren't any there. It was such a strong feeling that I added them the next time, and it threw everything into better balance for me. Your mileage may vary, of course, so feel free to omit them.

I also discovered that the rich, spicy warmth of the curry is beautifully enhanced by the use of smoked paprika. The smokiness brings all of the spices together without overpowering them.

This is another dish that travels well for work lunches.
Home Cookin Chapter: Soups and Stews


2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter (optional)
2 large or 3 med onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 fresh serrano chilies, finely minced
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika (preferably smoked)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 quart water
1 cup red or brown lentils, rinsed
2 large potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 carrots, cut into 1/2" thick rounds
1 pound fresh spinach
1/2 cup cooked chick-peas
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp fresh lime juice

Heat oil and butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute, stirring frequently, 10-15 minutes, until onions turn golden brown. Add garlic, chilies, ginger, coriander, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes longer, stirring frequently.

Stir in water and lentils. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and simmer 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Add spinach and chick-peas and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the lime juice.

Serve with brown rice.

Adapted from
The One-Dish Vegetarian, by Maria Robbins (St. Martin's Griffin, 2000)

Exported from Home Cookin 5.7 (

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...