Curried Lentil Stew

We’ve had a return of chilly weather, which means I can make soup for dinner a few more times before this year’s heat sets in and we only want to eat cold, green things for the next seven months.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat!  Soup is just so easy and satisfying, that it’s a shame to waste the last cool nights eating salad already.

I happened upon this recipe online and, after making a few adjustments, whipped it up for dinner in 30 minutes.  It’s delightfully flavorful, unapologetically nutritious, exceptionally filling and just ethnic enough to feel like a refreshing change from the norm.

We paired ours with some queso garlic toast made from sourdough bread brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with granular garlic, chopped cilantro and crumbled queso fresco. Toast it under a hot broiler for a couple of minutes. Yum!

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Curried Lentil Stew

Adapted from: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/why-i-dont-like-instant-pot-curried-lentil-sweet-potato-stew/

Serves: 5-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ – 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 pound yams or sweet potatoes, finely diced

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup plain yogurt or queso fresco

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onions. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until golden.

Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.

Add curry powder, salt and pepper and stir constantly for about 30 seconds to allow spices to toast.

Add tomatoes, stock and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add cubed yams and simmer another 10-15 minutes, just until lentils and yams are soft.

Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving and garnish with either yogurt or queso fresco.

Hurry Curry

Curry is such a great dish for families.  It’s natural sweetness is a hit with kids, yet it can be spiced up to suit the grownup tastes as well.  If you’d like to keep it mild, be sure to use a mild or sweet curry powder, rather than a hot variety.  For those of you wanting to turn up the heat, try adding a couple dashes of ground cayenne with the other spices.  Be sure to put some rice on before you begin the curry, or you’ll be ready to eat long before the rice is done.  The best part?  It’s on the table in 20 minutes!

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Hurry Curry
adapted from a recipe by The Pioneer Woman

2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon curry powder, I like a sweet one
Dash garam masala
1 cup chicken broth
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3-4 smallish red potatoes, cooked and cut into chunks
2 large bell peppers, cut into chunks
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
lime wedges for serving

Precook potatoes by either boiling, steaming or microwaving in one of those handy cloth pouches. (When cool enough to handle, cut into large dice.)

Heat a large skillet on medium for a minute and then add the oil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and saute onions for several minutes, until beginning to brown.  Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for another minute.

Add spices and toast, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.  Stir in broth, coconut milk, honey and lime juice until combined.

Add chickpeas, potatoes and peppers and simmer for 5-10 minutes to combine flavors.  Remove from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over rice with lime wedges.