It’s snowing in Vancouver, a reality TV star is the President of the United States and, perhaps strangest of all, my husband’s favourite weeknight recipe is… a vegan curry.
This is a guy who once turned his nose up at a delicious turkey burger because because ‘burgers should contain beef.’
This curry will not rip your lips off with heat. In fact, it’s not spicy at all (if you do want a kick of spice, I recommend adding half a teaspoon of cayenne or a few crushed Pequin chiles). It is, however, very flavourful and extra hearty thanks to fiber-rich lentils and a smattering of subtly sweet, starchy yam.
I use green lentils in this curry (Puy lentils if you can track ’em down), since they keep their shape well after cooking. Instead of boiling down to a mush the way red lentils do (which certainly has its uses in some recipes), green lentils become tender but don’t disintegrate, which gives this atypical dal a beautiful texture.
I will, however, insist you squeeze some fresh lemon on the curry immediately before serving. If this dish is a blue ribbon winner without the lemon, adding it kicks the dish into EGOT territory (… not literally, obviously… I don’t think it can sing… or compose music… or act…).
Amidst all the rich foods, sugar rushes and endless streams of alcohol that December brings, let this easy, healthy curry float you through the weekdays. You know, between the food/sugar/booze benders.
|Green Lentil Curry with Kale & Yam|| || |
- 1 Tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp garam masala
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 400ml can of coconut milk
- 1¼ cups dried green lentils
- 1 bunch green kale, stemmed and leaves finely chopped
- 1 large yam, peeled and chopped (approx. 2 cups)
- 2 cups water
- Lemon wedges, to serve (essential!)
- Fresh cilantro leaves, to serve (nice to have)
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add onion and cook on medium high until softened and just starting to brown. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Reduce heat to medium low and add coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, brown sugar, garam masala and tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning the spices.
- Add coconut milk and mix well. Add kale, yam and lentils and mix. Add water and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a heavy lid and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The kale should cook down and the yam and lentils should be tender.
- Serve on its own or overtop basmati rice. Squeeze fresh lemon over the curry immediately before serving and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.