When you are eating a plant-based diet, one of the most common questions people ask is, “How do you get your protein?” The answer is that all plants have protein. However, there are some plants like lentils that have LOTS of protein. One cup of cooked lentils provides 17.9 grams of protein and 15.6 grams of fiber. In addition, lentils are also a good source of vitamin B6, iron, potassium and folate. This is an easy and satisfying lentil dish. I serve this curry with garam masala carrots. The sweet aromatic carrots provide a nice balance to the savory, spiced lentils. I hope you enjoy it!
3/4 cup red lentils washed and rinsed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 chopped onion
4 minced garlic cloves
1.5 inch fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch of Indian chili powder, or
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp turmeric powder
pinch hing or asafoetida (optional)
1 tsp ground corriander powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup chopped organic kale
1 can of coconut milk, full fat or low fat
1 cup water, plus an extra cup
1 15oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 bunch of organic cilantro, finely chopped
Before you begin, gather all the ingredients. Chop the onion, mince the garlic and ginger. Gather all the spices. Have your measuring spoons ready, so you can add spices quickly when needed.
In a 4-quart stainless steel soup pot, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Make certain there is enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot.
Add onion and sauté for about 7 minutes until slightly brown and caramelized. Lower heat. Stir in garlic and ginger. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add the spices: curry, cumin, chili, turmeric, hing (if using), coriander and black pepper stirring to ensure they do not stick and burn. Gently toast the spices for a minute.
When the spice mix becomes fragrant, add the lentils and salt. Stir to coat the lentils thoroughly in the spice mix. Add the can of coconut milk, the can of crushed tomatoes, chopped cilantro and 1 cup water. Have some extra water nearby to use, if needed.
Bring curry to a boil. Lower heat and simmer. Stir frequently to prevent lentils from sticking. As the curry simmers, it will absorb the liquids. Cooking temperature and personal preference really come into play here. If the temperature is too high, you will need to add water and stir frequently to keep lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. If your curry is too thick for your liking, you can add up to 1 extra cup of water to achieve the preferred consistency. I like a thick curry, so I generally use only one cup of water and simmer on low. Cook lentils for 20 minutes, then add the chopped kale. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the lentils are soft, but not falling apart.
Serve Red Lentil Curry with Basmati Rice and Limes. Garnish with extra cilantro. Enjoy!