This dish might not be much to look at, but it delivers on flavour, it's healthy and it cooks in about half an hour. A great winter warmer. Serve with some rice and bread and you got yourself a full dinner!
Lessons in making lentils look edible.
Yes, that's how I feel about lentils, unappealing to look at. Am I not wrong? No matter how many times I make lentil dishes they just never ever seem to look like something you want to eat. Ever! And over the years I have tried and tired, but they still end up looking like baby mush. And who wants to eat that? Nobody.
However, mushy mess aside, this dish does deliver on flavour. You just need to close your eyes when you eat it...ha!
First up thought, I can't take full credit for this recipe, it's from Pinch of Yum and it really is great. If you check out their version, it looks ten thousand times more appealing than mine does. That's just a fact. Right, I didn't follow that recipe to a tee, but it's a pretty close copy. You can take a look at her lentil recipe here and see how much more beautiful it is than mine.
Mushy lentils aside, we are cruising through January quicker than I can blink. If you read my last post, I was talking a little about being productive and positive in the year's gloomiest of months. Yes, January, the month we all love to hate. But I got to say, we are three weeks in and I am still feeling pretty darn good about this month so far.
One of the things I said I was going to do this month was getting back into my cross stitch. It's been an on and off hobby for the best part of 20 years and I have managed to develop a love hate relationship with the ol' needle and thread. But this past week, I dusted off the year's worth of dust and started stitching into the night.
And here's my reason for wanting to get back into the hobby. It's relaxing. Enjoyable. Productive. And even rewarding.
Like a lot of people, I get lost in my evenings. We finish dinner and clear away the mess. Then I find myself doing last minute things that may not have got done in the day. Laundry, picking up crap, dabbling on my blog and social media, and just generally wasting time. So I usually go to bed wound up with a list of things I didn't get done and frustrated at how I spent my evening.
Cross stitch to the rescue. It's not the act of cross stitching per say, more the relaxation you get of just sitting in one spot focused on one activity that you actually get to see results for. Time well spent. Kind of like raking leaves with Isaac. Okay, you probably won't get that. A song by Warren Zevon. Just doing something cathartic is relaxing. It just is!
Cross stitch therapy.
So, I can tick that box for January's to do list. Tick.
The month is winding down and there's a list as long as my arm of other things I want to accomplish, but I'm not fretting over it. There's always February.
And for the moment, we're going to take a closer look at the lentils.
Notes about the lentils:
Lentils don't need to be soaked, so they are a great legume to cook quickly. You just have to rinse them in cold water and then put them straight on the stove to cook. These cooked in about 15 minutes, so quick.
This wasn't too spicy as the chilli I used wasn't the real hot kind. If you prefer your dish more spicy, add a few dried chopped chillies at the beginning with the garlic and ginger. This will do the trick.
I added a few cashew nuts for contrast in texture and I thought they worked really well. If you are not a nut lover or have allergies, just leave them out.
Pictured you will see this served with rice. Personally, I think it needs the rice. Again, if you are looking for a lower calorie meal, or just don't want the grains you can eat the lentils on their own. Still tasty!
And that's pretty much it. A super simple and straightforward dish. Thanks Pinch of Yum!
Happy cooking friends!
Red Lentil Curry
Serves 4 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes
1 1/2 Cups/200 grams red lentils
1 Small onion, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons red curry paste
1 Teaspoon garam masala
1 Teaspoon hot curry powder
1 Teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of sugar (optional)
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Inch piece of ginger, grated
1 Red chilli, de seeded and finely chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 Cup/120 ml coconut milk
1/2 Cup/75 grams cashew nuts, roughly chopped
Small bunch fresh cilantro. roughly chopped
Rinse lentils in cold water. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook for about 15 - 20 minutes or until completely cooked. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside.
In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil, ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute and add the onion. Stir and cook for 8 - 10 minutes. Until the onion is soft and golden. Add all the spices, red curry paste, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric and the chilli. Stir really well and let cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Add the lentils and stir really well. Pour in the coconut milk, stir and bring to a simmer. Add sugar if desired. Cover, reduce heat to low and leave for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Toss in the cashew nuts (reserving a few for garnish) and stir. Remove from heat and garnish with extra cashew nuts and the cilantro. Serve over rice.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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