Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Cooking with Dr. Mom: Indian lentil curry

I've decided since it seems my mum is a regular contributor, she should have her own title for her posts. I've settled on "Cooking with Dr. Mom". I've called it that because she's a family doctor and she cooks very healthy meals. But she's also a mom (my mom!) and so her cooking is homey and delicious. I hope you enjoy her Indian lentil curry, made with leftover lentils from her Vietnamese-inspired lentil salad. I can almost smell its tantalizing spices through the computer screen!

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When I cook up beans or lentils or grains I always double (or triple!) what I need so that I can have left overs for another recipe.  Pre-cooked ingredients make meal prep on a work night much faster.  I had extra black beluga lentils after making the vietnamese inspired lentil salad and so I made this Indian curry, inspired by a similar recipe by Madhur Jaffrey.

Recipe: Indian lentil curry

Spice mixture
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove mashed to a paste with 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp water

2 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
2 medium tomatoes, diced
6 oz (about 1 1/2 Cups)  fresh green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups cooked black lentils (can substitute green lentils)
5 oz fresh baby spinach (1 small box)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Makes 2 main course servings

Combine spice mixture in a small bowl to make a thin paste.

Heat oil in a large covered sauce pan (I used a 12 inch covered skillet).  When oil is hot add the spice mixture (watch out for spattering!).  Fry until the water is mainly evaporated and the spices are fragrant - about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, green beans, sliced carrot and tomato paste.  Cover and simmer over medium heat until the beans and carrot are tender cooked, about 10 min.  Keep an eye on the pot and add more water if the mixture is getting too dry.  The goal is to have the beans cooked with the water almost all evaporated.

Add the cooked lentils to tomato mixture to heat through.  Just before serving add the spinach and cilantro to the lentil mixture and cook over med-high heat until the spinach has cooked down and is well stirred into the lentil mixture - about 3-4 minutes.

Serve over rice or with naan bread. (I served with Greek style pita because vegan, lower fat and lower sodium than naan bread)

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