Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Make: Lentil and Chickpea Curry

In the spirit of "make do", I searched my cabinets for something to make for tonight's dinner.  I found red lentils ( a LOT of them, to be honest), just sitting there waiting to be used.  I bought them ages ago, in a fit of vegetarianism, and had since forgotten about them.  I'm actually glad I found them, because my son has recently become a vegetarian, of his own making.  I have tried to get him to eat meaty things.  I have even tried to hide bits of chicken, sausages, turkey, ham, etc, etc, in meals, just like mums all over have tried with veggies.  But, no luck.  He finds them, puts the pieces to one side, and eats the rest.

So, a vegetarian meal is on the menu tonight.  Red lentils.  I bought a bag of dried chickpeas during last weeks shop, so I decided to make a  Lentil and Chickpea Curry.

*The measurements of spices are for reference only. You can add more or less, depending on your own preference.*
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
Oil (to use for frying--use your own preferred variety)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper--crushed pepper is better, but regular pepper is good :)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp ground cilantro/coriander
2 tsp garam masala, plus extra to taste
2 cans chickpeas or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 c cooked lentils
4 Tbsp heavy cream

If you don't have some of the above spices, such as turmeric or ground cilantro, you can get already made curry powder in most supermarkets.  I find when making this dish, I use the spices, and then add a bit of curry powder just to add some more flavour.

You can also add more veggies and beans to this dish--mushrooms, broad beans, or spinach make nice additions.

Heat your oil in a medium pan.
Add the onion and garlic; cook until brown.
Add your spices and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently so the spices won't stick to the bottom.
Add chickpeas, tomatoes and lentils, stir until combined.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add the heavy cream; taste to see if more spices are needed.  This is when to add more garam masala or curry powder, if you wish.
Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Serve over rice--I prefer basmati rice, because it has such a great flavour, but you can use brown or long grain if you have that on hand.

I think I made too many lentils....

A tasty and healthy that even my kids like it.  Definitely a plus.

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