Coconut-Curry Red Lentil Stew
Here's a fragrant, spicy stew that makes a delicious and satisfying meatless meal. An aromatic blend of fresh ginger, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon and coriander gives the lentils a hearty dose of flavor, and the fresh cilantro, lemon juice and zest added just before serving finish the dish with a bright, tangy note. Serve with toasted naan or steamed basmati rice.
- 1-1/4 cups red lentils
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch of cayenne
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2-inch slice fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2-3/4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (we used light)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise (see notes)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and cayenne in a small bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño. Sauté until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved spice mixture, season lightly with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste.
Add the vegetable stock, lentils and carrots. Stir to combine and cover partially. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are tender and a good deal of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the coconut milk and tomatoes and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the tomatoes soften. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then stir in the cilantro, lemon juice and zest.
Serve in bowls with toasted naan (see notes) or steamed basmati rice on the side.
Makes 3 to 4 servings
If grape tomatoes aren't available you can use cherry tomatoes, diced fresh tomatoes or drained canned tomatoes. You need between 1-1/2 to 2 cups total.
Feel free to add extra heat with an extra jalapeño or two and some additional cayenne.
Naan is an East Indian flatbread, traditionally baked in a tandoor oven. It has a soft texture that makes it perfect for sopping up delicious sauces like the one on this stew. Naan is readily available in flavors like garlic and onion as well as plain. We generally use Stonefire brand - check your local supermarket.