VEGETABLE CURRY WITH LENTILS
1/2 c dried green lentils
3 oz tempeh (Organic Soy)
2 oz kale
4 oz squash (half of one)
1/4 onion diced
1/2 celery stick
1/4 t freshly grated ginger
1/4 t coriander seeds
2 t tumeric powder
1/8 t cardamom
1/8 t cinnamon
1/2 t cumin
3/4 t salt
3 T coconut oil
1 1/2 t tamarind paste
1/8 t red chili flakes
2 garlic cloves
yield: 4 servings
I love curries. I love being able to completely change a dish depending on what spices I choose. If you ask someone what curry is they might just tell you that it's a yellow powder. Curry is so much more than just a little powder you get at the store. It's a combination of spices. Each curry powder is different. If there is a curry powder that you like, by all means use it. I thought I would just make one so you could experience this curry. A really cute movie that I've seen a couple of times now is "Today's Special". The older Indian in it is hilarious, and makes it clear that curries have to come from the heart, gut and mind and that you can't follow a recipe for curry. So take into consideration when you make this. If you feel like the curry should be spicier, add more chili flakes. If you love cardamom and want more of it, add it. Experiment and find your favorite flavors.
I like to keep my ginger peeled and frozen. This way it's preserved and makes it really easy to grate.
Peel and throw ginger in the freezer.
Toast coriander seeds.
Toasting your spices are going to realy bring out the natural oils and boost the flavor. It's a good
idea not to toast all of your spices together because different seeds toast at different temperatures. You want to toast in a dry pan on low- medium heat. You'll start to smell the spices more when they're finished, pull when you see they have a darker color.
When the seeds are done transfer them to a cutting board. If you have a lot of spices I suggest grinding them in a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) but since this is such a small amount you can just smash them with your knife and chop them.
Mix all of your spices together. You want to add them to the oil at the same time.
Add your onions, celery, and carrots. Coat with spices thoroughly.
Start melting your coconut oil and when it's hot add the spices. Adding spices to a cold pan vs. a hot pan completely changes the flavor of them, so you always want to make sure your pan is hot. Your burner should be medium-high.
Cook until most of the water has evaporated and then add your kale. Add another 1/2 c of water.
Cook until about 1/2 of the liquid has evaporated and then add your squash. Add tamarind paste and garlic.
Add another 1/2 c of water and cover, lower the temperature to low-medium.
The curry is going to be very dry at this point. Add 1/2 c of water.
Add lentils on top of veggies. The lentils were a last minute change. My daughter saw that I was going to make potatoes and she wanted lentils instead.
Pit and dice dates.
Add the dates to the curry. If you notice the mixture is dry, add another 1/2 c of water.
Grate ginger into the mixture and add one more 1/2 c of water.
I like to hold off on adding the salt until the final stages. If you add the salt too soon the lentils will remain hard, even if they're fully cooked. Lentils normally take 20-30 minutes to cook, depending on how fresh they are. The fresher they are the faster they cook.
Wrap up in aluminum foil and throw in the oven for the last 15 minutes of cooking.