Red lentil curry

I love Indian food, but it took me a long time to try cooking it. To me, it seems so complex, and it’s probably better to leave the complicated stuff to more skilled chefs. My ex-housemate Yonca learned how to cook this red lentil curry from a previous Indian roommate; it is surprisingly so easy! And delicious. And flexible. The secret is in the spices (okay, maybe that’s a not-so-secret). It took me three times of trying to pay attention and fine-tune ingredient quantities, but I was very happy with today’s result:

I’ll still leave my favorite (lamb vindaloo, extra spicy) to the pros, but this gives me hope that me cooking Indian food is within reach! Also, this is a great dish to serve others (especially if your guests enjoy spicy food!).

Red lentil curry
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 cups canned tomatoes*
2 cups red lentils
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons cumin
1-2 teaspoons turmeric
1-2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

In a large pot, saute onions in olive oil for ~5 minutes. Add salt, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, and cayenne pepper. Stir in tomatoes and lentils. Add water to cover lentils by ~1 inch. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Adjust spices to your liking (for me, that seems to mean a little more of everything, especially cumin and cayenne pepper). Serve with rice and steamed greens or salad.

*any type of canned tomatoes will do. Today, I used San Marzano whole tomatoes and diced before adding. Use the liquid too!

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2 Responses to Red lentil curry

  1. kendall says:

    i would really love you to fedex those leftovers, on ice, to san francisco. thanks.

  2. Amicky says:

    Yum! I think I will try this. Keep the easy indian recipes coming!

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