I'm thinking that Trader Joe's should be sponsoring me.
This take on beans and greens has quickly become a favorite. It has a flavor profile that's different from a lot of what I make, and its really quick to put together. I like curry, but certainly not an expert. I do know that curry powder is a mix of spices, and that your grandmother from India wouldn't be using some mix out of a jar. But, so far, I have made this with 3 different kinds (ranging from the above Trader Joe's curry powder to one I bought in London) and they have all been good... although maybe not authentic. I'm guessing a canned curry paste will work too. No matter what kind of curry you use, realize the heat level between brands can vary considerably. If in doubt, use less, as you can always add some more at the end.
Besides the curry, what makes this different from my normal lentil soup is coconut milk, it adds a nice richness (and keeps you from noticing there is no meat). And to my friends in Arizona: even though this is a stew, it's still good to eat on a warm day.
And like other lentil or bean stews, this freezes very well. I just put 1 serving into a 1 quart ziploc freezer bag, press out the extra air and seal. Freeze flat. When ready to eat, put the bag into a bowl (or sinkful) of hot water. When thawed (about 5 - 10 minutes), dump into a bowl and heat a couple of minutes in the microwave. And then garnish.
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 carrots, sliced
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 - 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
~ 2 tablespoons curry powder (to taste)
1 pound red lentils (or regular green lentils), rinsed
4 cups of water
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 bunch of greens (kale, mustard, chard), large stalks removed, chopped, or a bag of baby arugula.
Garnish: Chopped avocado, yogurt, cilantro, fried egg, and/or lime wedges
Heat the oil in a large pot. Sauté onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, and salt until onions are translucent. Add curry powder, stir well, and then add lentils, 4 cups water, and coconut milk. Cook about 30 minutes, add a bit more water if needed to just cover the lentils. The red lentils should break down, or green lentils should be soft. Add chopped greens. Kale or mustard greens need to cook about 5 minutes; baby arugula is done as soon as you have stirred it in. Taste -- add salt or more curry, if needed.
Garnish with chopped avocado, yogurt, cilantro, and/or lime wedges. To make hardier, add a fried or poached egg, or serve over rice.
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