To anyone who argues you need meat and dairy to make things taste amazing needs to eat some food from India and the Middle East because they know how to do it.
This is soooooo flavourful and addictive. When I make this for dinner I literally wake up with drool because I am already salivating at stealing a morning nibble!
Another cool thing is this is such an adaptable recipe. It is easy and fairly fast cooking, low cost, make your own naan on a day off, buy it for a work night, puree left overs for a soup, add coconut milk one time. Like could this dish offer you more?!?
So before we go over the ingredients list I want to have a little side bar…. look, it is a lot of stuff. One reason I never cooked curry’s at home for so long is because of the amount of spices. But then I realized, I head out once-twice a year, pick them up (they are inexpensive mostly) I am good for deliciousness for a long while. I simplified this recipe a bit and chose spices that truly make a difference. Think of them as the dishes protesters fighting for what is right! Totally worth it! That being said if you have a curry powder you like or it’s all you got, this still works. But adding some of these other spices makes it sing and certainly makes it taste more authentic.
Lentils 1 Cup Red Lentils
Coconut Oil 2 Tbsp
Garlic 2 Cloves finely chopped
Ginger 2-3 Tbs finely chopped or grated
Onion 1 small white or yellow
Gram Massala 1 Tbsp
Cayenne Pepper whatever you like! We like it toasty and did 1/2 a Tbsp
Cardamom 3-4 gently crushed with side of knife or mortar and pestle
Cinnamon Stick 1
Turmeric 2 Tsp
Star Anise 2-4
Black Pepper 2 Tsp
Salt 2 Tsp
Sugar or Honey or Agave (not maple) 1-2 Tbsp
Zucchini 1 Small cut into small pieces
Red Pepper 1 small cut into small pieces
Vegetable Bullion Cube 1
Fresh Herbs of Choice (Cilantro, Parsley, Mint, Green Onion)
Stage 1-Sautee and Toast
This is the moment you add almost everything to the pan and let them come together
On medium heat add Onion, Garlic, Ginger into the pot with the melted Coconut Oil. As those cook start adding your spices. Gram Massala, Cayenne Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon Stick, Turmeric, Star Anise, S&P and Bullion Cube. Stir. Now add the zucchini and pepper.
Stage 2-The Lentils
Rinse the Lentils well under cold water then add to the pot with the spices and veg. I like to toss them around and let them get coated in all that yums for about 2 min before adding enough water to cover the lentils by 2 inches. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 min
Stage 3-The serving and eating
I like to serve in a bowl topped with herbs and a side of warm naan and I do love this with mango chutney! My favourite herbs to top it with are Cilantro and Mint, but you do you and rock it how you would like cause I know how some people feel about cilantro, I am married to one!!!