Monday, October 20, 2008

Feel-Good Lentil Curry

So I know there is already an entry on Curry, but as autumn comes around and settles in, preparing us for winter, I made another one that is, to say the least, a nice bowl of warm, fuzzy deliciousness. Lentils are pretty easy to cook (and also cheap), and by adding just a few more staple ingredients, voila! A steaming bowl of love.

2 large yellow onions
2 cloves garlic (I used the frozen crushed kind this time)
2 plum tomatoes
1 beefsteak tomato
1 bag (1 lb) red lentils (you may substitute other lentils if that is what you have)
3 cups chicken stock (I had my own but the premade stuff is fine too)
1 tbsp Curry Powder (see the end of the recipe)
2-3 heaping tbsp Patak's Hot Curry Paste (Cumin & Tomato)
Olive oil

1 large heavy saucepan/pot; heavy, sharp chef's knife; cutting board; wooden spoon;

Prep work:
1) Dice up the onions and set aside. 2) Dice the tomatoes, and after dicing, roughly chop them further on the cutting board. Do not throw away the liquid. 3) Mince the garlic if using the fresh kind.

Heat the heavy saucepan on high. When it heats up, add the oil and let it heat up for about 10 seconds (until it shimmers), then add the onions and saute with a pinch of salt. Let them cook down for about 10 minutes, and then add the spices and the curry paste. Cook the spices for a couple of minutes until a "fond" develops. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for about 2-3 minutes, then add the bag of lentils. Let the lentils "toast" a little in the pan (they will not toast totally, as there is liquid in the pan), and add the chicken broth. Bring the pan to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let the lentils cook for about 30 minutes, checking halfway during cooking time and adjusting if necessary the heat.

Serve in a bowl with yogurt, cilantro, fresh diced tomatoes...the list goes on.

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