Monday, November 14, 2011

Indian-Thai Fusion Lentil Curry

Yum
A big bowl of lentils makes me very happy.  Maybe it's the sunshine yellow color or the fact I know it's loaded with protein, good carbohydrates and lots of nutrition.  This particular lentil curry has me extra happy because I took my typical Sri Lankan or Indian style lentils and gave it a spicy Thai twist.  I wasn't sure if the twist was going to work, but everyone knows I love to experiment and take a chance. Well it more than worked out.  I really loved the flavor combination and it's going to become a regular for my rice and curry meals.

Ingredients:
For the Lentils:
2 cups uncooked Masoor Lentils (available in Indian stores)
3-4 cups of water
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cinnamon stick

Notes:  Do not add salt for better cooking.   This will yield about 4 cups cooked lentils.
 For the Tempering of the Lentils:
1 medium onion chopped
1 red bell pepper or 2-3 sweet red chilies sliced
1 handful of Thai basil leaves (regular basil can be substituted)
1 cup coconut milk
1 heaping Tbs of ginger-garlic-paste or 2 cloves of garlic grated and 1 inch of ginger grated
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of red chili flakes (or to taste)
2-3 Tbs of fish sauce



Directions:
Step 1:  Cook your lentils
Wash your lentils well in cold running water.  You want the water to run clear from the lentil residue.  Then put the lentils in a large pan like a deep saute pan (I find the lentils do not boil over onto the stove if you use a wide pan).  Add the water, turmeric and cinnamon stick.  Boil on medium high heat for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are cooked. The lentils will be soft and easily crushed by your fingers when done.  Once cooked set aside.




Step 2: Make the Thai Tempering-
Heat a large pan with 1 Tbs of canola oil.  First add your chopped onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add your spices (cumin seeds, mustard seeds and red chili flakes).  Saute for another minute.






Then add the ginger, garlic and red chilies or peppers.  Fry for another 2-3 minutes.







Next add your cleaned Thai Basil leaves and Fish Sauce. Now the fish sauce is the salt in the dish.  Start with 2Tbs and add more as needed.  I ended up using 3 full Tbs.



Add your 1 cup of coconut milk next.  I also add about 1/4 cup of water to rinse out the can.  You get about 2 cups of coconut milk per can so I saved the other half to use later with another dish. That's a great way to stretch a buck. : )





Finally add your four cups of cooked lentils.  Stir well and taste for seasoning.  Allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes.  Then you can turn off the stove and serve this with any rice and curry meal.  Enjoy.








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20 comments:

  1. Beautiful combination of flavours! Indeed a great fusion lentil curry...book-marked

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  2. What a beautiful dish. So vibrant. I need to cook with lentils more since they are so beautiful and healthy. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  3. I've never heard of Masoor Lentils, but now I have to go find them! I adore lentil dishes and as you know, love the garlic/ginger combination. This has gone on my list of foods to try! It looks fantastic.

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  4. I love lentils - and you're right - it is like the sunshine!

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  5. The color of this dish alone makes me happy :) Lentils are my favorite ever in curries, I think.

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  6. This is a beautiful dish, I have never made Indian-Thai lentils before always do an Italian version with garlic basil and tomatoes. I like these ingredients and will have to try this.

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  7. What a gorgeous dish, Ramona!! Love the colors~

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  8. This looks warming and comforting--perfect for fall!

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  9. Whenever you take a chance it always pays off. The color of this dish is gorgeous!!!

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  10. Now this is seriously up my alley. I will be trying this out very soon

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  11. Lovely! Hey, I think you will like my latest post - Bobotie - curried meat loaf!

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  12. I love the color, you're right it does make me happy! This looks perfect for a day like today-gloomy and rainy. Great recipe, it's gorgeous!

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  13. Nice twist looks yummmmo. if u like plz join me on fb. http://www.facebook.com/people/Vegetarian-Cooking-Diarys/100002691309744

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  14. Ramona - this looks delicious! I'm a HUGE fan of lentils! One of my favorite legumes! As always - a beautifully creative dish!

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  15. I never used to like lentils, but they are growing on me. This looks really good!

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  16. My husband and I went out tonight and I had an amazing lentil soup. I just told him I want to start working with lentils more. Looks like an amazing recipe. Thank you for sharing!

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  17. A big bowl of Lentils always makes me happy, too. Maybe I'll try this one, it sounds awesome. And yes, get some Mary Poppins in your life!

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  18. We tried it today, and it was amazing! As pleasing to the palate as it is to the eyes. My tummy thanks you!

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  19. LeChatelier- So glad you tried it and enjoyed it. I really enjoyed this version of lentils and am glad I'm not the only one. :)

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  20. A real winner. My lentils were dated 1.5 yrs ago so I put twice the amt of coconut cream/milk. Took an hour to get those old lentils soft! I will try adding some lemon peels next time and see what happens. Trying to duplicate flavor of my fav Indian restaurant. Thanks so much!

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