Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Red Curry Lentils with Coconut Jasmine Rice

I feel like I've been sharing a lot of really meaty meals lately, so I decided to switch things up a bit this week and post a vegetarian meal.

I was a little nervous about making this because I'd never made lentils at home before. Well, okay ... I'd made prepackaged lentils with sauce, but that doesn't count. I mean, you literally pop those in the microwave for a couple of minutes and they're ready.

This dish required a little more effort than that, but it was still remarkably easy. As we were eating, I kept saying, "I wish I'd realized before how easy it is to make something like this myself!" It tasted much better than the prepackaged stuff, and it was probably a little healthier since it wasn't packed with preservatives.

 photo RedCurryLentilswithCoconutJasmineRice_zpslbhmaxth.jpg

If you're intimidated by the thought of making your own curry, don't be. This is ridiculously simple to throw together. You're also using a jarred curry paste for this dish, so it's not as though you'll need to purchase 500 different spices. I honestly felt like I used fewer spices in this curry than I have in some of the other meals I've posted!

I followed the original recipes pretty closely, but made a few adjustments to some of the measurements. This makes quite a bit of curry and rice, but the leftovers taste just as good (if not better!).

Red Curry Lentils with Coconut Jasmine Rice

Adapted ever so slightly from recipes on Pinch of Yum and Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Ingredient List (Red Curry Lentils):
  • 1 2/3 cups lentils, rinsed and picked over (If you've never cooked with lentils before, this just means that you'll want to sort through them and pick out anything that looks "weird." Apparently little rocks can find their way into packages of lentils, so if something is discolored or just looks a little "off," toss it.)
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste (I like to use the Thai Kitchen brand. This can be found in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores, including Super Target.)
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 clove garlic (or, if you're lazy like me, the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup lite coconut milk (I used lite to make it healthier, but you could also use regular coconut milk.)
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato puree
  • Fresh cilantro for serving

Instructions (Red Curry Lentils):

1.  Cook the lentils according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2.  Melt the butter in a large, deep saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until slightly soft and golden.

3.  Add the curry paste, Garam Masala, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper to the onion and butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

4.  Stir in the tomato puree, and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.

5.  Add the cooked lentils and coconut milk. Stir several times to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. (It's best to let the curry simmer as long as possible!)

6.  Serve over coconut jasmine rice (recipe below) and garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Ingredient List (Coconut Jasmine Rice):
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 1/3 cups lite coconut milk (This should use up the rest of a 14 oz. can of coconut milk.)
  • 1 2/3 cup water

Instructions (Coconut Jasmine Rice):

1.  Bring the rice, coconut milk, and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.

2.  Cover and reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly evaporated.

3.  Remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes before fluffing with a fork.

This was seriously delicious. Eric even loved it, and he doesn't always love vegetarian meals. (To be fair, he did say "Maybe you could add chicken to this when you make it again," but then he admitted that it was really filling and tasty just as it was ... He just prefers meat with his meals.)

And, as you can see, it's a really easy meal to throw together. It's also pretty healthy, which is really important to me right now. September was kind of a "Fuck it, I'll eat and drink what I want!" month for me, so I really need to start focusing on eating a little better, cutting back on the alcohol, and getting back into an exercise routine. (But that's another post entirely.)

All rambling aside, you should definitely give this a try. If nothing else, it will prove just how easy it can be to make a (mostly) homemade curry!

1 comment:

  1. i didn't even know you could get prepackaged lentils and sauce, i would be all over that. i LOVE lentils and curry and i have never made curried lentils before so i am definitely pinning this for hopefully one day making it lol