100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes, Vegan

Day 53 – Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

Day53

Gah!!! It was on of those way too busy Mondays, when you wish it was still Sunday and you can hide in bed with the covers over your head.   I definitely needed a quick and easy meal for tonight’s dinner.

Treehugger to the rescue!! Their recipe for a simple Red Lentil and Sweet Potato curry was just what I needed.

Curry is the generic English term to describe a wide variety of dishes from multiple word cusines. The similarity between dishes that are called a curry is the use of complex combinations of spices and herbs that is traditionally selected for each dish because of cultural tradition, religious practice, and family preference. Each individual dish usually has a specific name in the language of its origin describing the ingredients incorporated into the curry.

Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

adapted from: Treehugger

SERVES:4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 medium sweet potato or kumara, peeled and cut into 40mm or  1 inch chunks1
  • 40 mm or 1inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils
  • green onion/spring onion
  • chili flakes

In a saucepan or kettle, bring 3 ½ cups of water to a boil.

In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil, and add the onion and a pinch of salt to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens (3 to 4 minutes). Add the sweet potato, ginger, garlic, curry powder and bay leaf and continue cooking for about a minute or until fragrant.

Then pour in the boiling water and stir in the lentils bringing the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentils break down and the sweet potatoes are tender (18 to 20 minutes). Season with salt.

While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, make rice basmati or jasmine rice for serving, or warm pita bread in the oven.

Remove the bay leaf and dish curry out on top of rice or to eat with the pita bread. Chop green onion to sprinkle over the top along with a small (or large) pinch of chili flakes, and serve while warm.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes, Vegan

Day 5 – Indian Curried Chickpeas with Fresh Ginger and Coriander

Day5

WOW . . . this dish packs quite a lot of flavor and spice. I like spicy food, and I had to keep my yogurt nearby.

book3Although the best part about this recipe is that it is made in a slow cooker. Slow cookers are one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment (that and my immersion/stick blender; both of which are used in this recipe). There is nothing better than coming home after a long day of work to a warm meal  that has been slowly bubbling away for hours cooking down and gaining flavor. Usually, most recipe books for slow cookers are very meat-centric, so usually I just make up my own concoctions, but it is always nice to get inspiration from somewhere. A couple years ago a friend gave me The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker  cook book as a birthday present. This is literally one of the best birthday presents I have ever received!! The book is organized by country and it has so many amazing recipes for ways to use a slow cooker that I have never imagined.

Chickpeas or Chana are commonly found in Indian cooking, especially vegetarian Indian cooking. With this recipe there is still a bit of work to be done at the end; the spices and fresh ingredients are added last after the chickpeas have been simmering all day to preserve the flavor and the freshness of these elements. As I mentioned earlier this recipe is SPICY!! You can adjust it for your own spice tolerance by varying the amount of cayenne pepper used.

Indian Curried Chickpeas with Fresh Ginger and Coriander

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 green cardamon pods
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure chili powder
  • 30 mm  piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, or vary for your spice tolerance)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Yogurt for serving
  • 3 fresh serrano (or NZ green) chiles, seeded, deveined, and cut into julienne, for garnish
  • rough chopped coriander, for garnish

Thoroughly rinse the chickpeas and place them in the slow cooker insert along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hrs (pretty much while you are at work), until the chickpeas are tender.

In a large saute pan, brown the onion in the sesame oil until dark brown in colour, about 10 -15 min.

spicesNow the fun part . . . combine the cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, chile powder, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne in an electric coffee mill or mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse powder/paste. If you do not have either an electric coffee mill or mortar and pestle then put spices into a heavy bowl and use the bottom of a glass  or jar to grind the spices down. I love the look and smell of all these beautiful spices combining together.

Add the coarsely ground spices to the onion and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, then add the onion and spices to the cooked chickpeas. Recover and continue cooking for another 30 – 60 minutes.

Using an immersion/stick blender, puree some of the chickpeas in the insert, and mix through to thicken the mixture.

Add salt to taste, then stir in the lemon juice. Ladle into bowls, add a dallop of yogurt, and garnish with chile slices and fresh coriander.

ENJOY!!

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