The cold has come upon us. It is time for hot apple cider and tomato soup and curry. Hot, spicy, delicious curry that will warm parts of you that you didn’t even know could be warmed. As I’ve said before, I love Indian inspired food for vegetarians and vegans because there is so much variety and flavor that isn’t necessarily a part of other regional cuisines. It’s nice to be able to go to a restaurant and be able to choose something to eat instead of sticking to the plain salad.
Anyway, I came across this unopened bag of red lentils in my cabinet and was seized by the urge to cook them up as piping hot as possible. I also happen to be a huge coconut fan, and I feel like I don’t use it in a great enough proportion to the amount that I love it, so I threw some coconut milk in for a bit of extra richness and flavor. Also, I like my spicy food actually spicy, so I grabbed some serrano peppers and tossed them in as well (a word of advice: liberally rub olive or canola oil on your hands before chopping peppers, it will keep the capsaicin from absorbing into your skin and giving you the most miserable burning feeling). I’d also like to say that the smell of sautéed onion, garlic and peppers is the most heavenly and comforting scent that I know.
2 cups dry lentils
6 cups vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
5 serrano peppers, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 container (9 oz) of frozen green beans
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
1) In a large pot, sauté your onion over medium heat in about a tablespoon of oil until translucent. Add peppers and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2) Add the curry powder and cumin and continue cooking for about 30 more seconds (we don’t want the spices to burn).
3) Add the vegetable broth. Continue to heat on medium.
4) In another pan, quickly toast the lentils over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Don’t leave it on heat for more than a minute or so.
5) Add the lentils to the broth mixture, and bring to a simmer.
6) After the lentils have been cooking for about 7 minutes, add the cauliflower. 7 minutes later, add the green beans. Add the coconut milk, salt and pepper, and allow to heat through for a few minutes.
7) Serve over rice (and with a glass of milk).