Monday, October 26, 2015

Vegan Lentil Spinach Tomato Curry


I have always loved lentils since I was a little girl.  My mother cooked a lot of lentil curry when we ate our rice and curry meals so it is basically a big comfort food for me.  I have passed down my love of eating lentils to my children so I always have a big canister filled with masoor lentils in my pantry.  We usually make basic lentils, but there are times when I want to jazz them up.  I love all the flavor the tomatoes and spices give the lentils and the spinach is just a great addition of color, texture and nutrients. 

The great thing about these lentils is that they are vegan, full of healthy protein, fiber and delicious enough to be eaten with rice alone.  I ate a big bowl of lentils over some brown rice and no other curries were required.  That means a lot to me since a basic rice and curry meal usually consists of cooking 3-4 other dishes/curries to go with the rice.  This is a one pot wonder that is totally tasty, fast and satisfying. 

Vegan Lentil Spinach Tomato Curry
by Ramona W. from Kitchen Simmer 

Ingredients for cooking Lentils
2 cups masoor lentils washed well (these are little orange lentils) 3-4 cups water to cook lentils
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 inch small cinnamon stick 

Ingredients for curry
3-4 medium sized fresh tomatoes (ripe) chopped
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
10-15 curry leaves (optional)

1 pandan leaf (optional)
2-3 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp turmeric
red chili flakes/red chili powder to taste
1 medium onion diced
1-2 green chilies sliced 

1 Tbs fresh garlic finely minced or grated
2 cloves fresh ginger grated
salt to taste
1 can coconut milk


Step: Wash lentils well with cold water until water runs clear.  Place in a large pan with water, cinnamon stick and turmeric.  Boil for 20-25 minutes until water is cooked out and lentils are very tender.  You should be able to mash between your fingers. Set aside until later.
In a separate pan heat 1Tbs of canola oil until hot on medium high heat.  Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, pandan leaf and curry leaves for 20-30 seconds.   Then add the green chilies and onion to the pan with a little salt and saute for 1-2 minutes. 

Then add chopped tomatoes and garlic and ginger and a little more salt.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Next add the cumin powder, turmeric powder and red chili flakes to taste.  Note: Juice from tomatoes will come out and make a little curry gravy.


 Next add the fresh baby spinach and cooked lentils to the pan.  Mix well.


Then add the coconut milk and stir well.  Taste for salt and seasoning and cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes.  Serve hot with rice or flat bread.  


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  1. Dear Ramona, I too love is such a wonderful winter dish. This looks delicious...all those flavors and spices are my favorite! xo, Catherine

  2. I have always loved dal curry - and your version with tomatoes and spinach sounds so good, Ramona!

    1. Thanks Shashi! Dal is one dish we cannot live without around here. :)

  3. What a gorgeous curry! I didn't get a chance to try lentils until I was grown, but enjoy them a lot now.

  4. Oh yum, I love curry and this looks easy!

    1. Thanks for visiting Marye, Yes, it's very easy... enjoy. :)

  5. The addition of cinnamon in here is really interesting. I cannot wait to try this one. Thanks!

    1. Sri Lankan (Ceylon) cinnamon is used in a lot of curry cooking... it is so good for you. :) Thanks for visiting. :)

  6. I could literally eat lentils all day, looks so delicious!

  7. Your dishes are always so vibrant! They look like they are just brimming with healthy ingredients.

  8. This looks delicious, I love lentils and spinach! Amazing colours too. How many servings would you say it yields?

  9. Dear Ramona, what a gorgeous curry! As pretty as it is delicious. Would love this on my dinner plate!

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