Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Source: Simply in Season
Date tried: November 17, 2012
Yield: 8-10 servings
Time needed: 30-40 minutes

Optional prior preparation
Put a can of coconut milk in the freezer 20 minutes before beginning the recipe.  Use the solidified coconut butter which forms on top in sautéing.

A substantial curry dish using lentils and vegetables enhanced with South Asian taste of coconut and cinnamon.  This is a keeper and simpler to prepare than the ingredient list suggests.  Just after I tried this at home, I saw it billed as the lunch-time special at the West End Food Co-op.

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Red Lentil Coconut Curry
1 large onion, minced
1 Tbsp. coconut butter or oil
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger root, peeled and minced
2 tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. each ground turmeric, ground cumin, pepper
¼ tsp each ground red pepper, ground cinnamon
2-3 bay leaves
1 can (13.5 oz/400 ml) coconut milk
¼ cup/60 ml tamari or soy sauce
1 cup/250 ml tomato sauce
2 cups/500 ml red lentils
5 cups/1.3 liters water
1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 large sweet potato, cubed
¼ head cabbage, cut into chunks
1-2 cups/250-500ml peas (optional)

Break/cube/cut cauliflower, sweet potato and cabbage into bite-sized morsels about 1½”/4cm. in diameter.
Mince garlic and ginger root.
Combine ground spices.
Mince onion.

In a large soup pot, sauté the minced onion in the coconut butter or oil until transparent but not browned.
Add the minced garlic and ginger root, the ground spices and bay leaves.
Cook, stirring constantly.  Do not let spices or onion brown.
Add coconut milk, tamari or soy sauce and tomato sauce.
Stir, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

As the soup simmers, bring 5 cups water to boil in a smaller saucepan.
Add lentils, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add lentils together with cooking liquid to the soup pot.

Add the previously prepared cauliflower, sweet potato and cabbage to the soup pot.
Cook until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes)
Add peas, if using, just before serving.

For a special meal, serve Indian-style, with rice. Place bowls of condiments on the table to add as toppings (e.g. chutney, pickles, fresh diced pears, sunflower seeds, plain yogurt, etc.)