There is something to be said for a warm homecooked lunch while you’re plugging away at work, isn’t there?
I find my love for the business district lunch-options dwindling with every soup and sandwich. It’s not that they aren’t good. In fact, they are great. Two of my favs being Lunch, and the newly opened Bowich. But sometimes I just want something from home. A big bowl of stew, a leftover slab of roasted vegetable lasagna, or in the most recent case, a spicy, coconutty curry.
Curry can do wonders for me in the middle of a bad day. Something about it, and I know this isn’t the first time I’ve said it, feels like a big hug from a close friend. A close friend who doesn’t leave you feeling too full to function or unsatisfied and bloatey from a greasy burger. A good friend wouldn’t do that to you. So make a lot, because I have on good authority that this sunny-coloured dish will, in fact, brighten your afternoon.
This curry is quick and easy to make, and easily adaptable to what you have on hand. Use whatever lentils you have (red, yellow split, green, brown etc etc). If you do use all red lentils, keep in mind they tend to breakdown and thicken the curry broth. The other lentils will give some texture and bite to the mix.
I added tofu for a bit of protein and some texture. Feel free to substitute for chicken, tempeh or omit it all together for a smooth curry.
Lentil Tofu Curry
I use a lot of curry paste/powder in this. I like things really spicy and hot. If you prefer something milder, cut the curry quantities.
2 cups lentils of your choice
7 cups water
2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp hot curry powder
2 tbsp butter or ghee
5 scallions, sliced thin
1 package extra firm tofu, cut into 2” cubes
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
a few pinches fine grain sea salt
a few handfuls cilantro, rough chopped
Rinse the lentils under cold water until the runoff water is no longer murky.
Add them to a large pot with the 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils are soft. About 30 minutes.
While the lentils cook, add the butter to a heavy bottom sauce pan and let it melt. Add the tofu, half the green onions and the ginger and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and powder and cook for another few minutes.
Once the lentils are cooked through, add the tofu curry mixture to the lentils along with the can of coconut milk and a pinch or two of salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and let cook until your desired consistency is reached. I like mine with a little broth but if you like yours thicker, let it cook a little longer.
Garnish with the rest of the scallions and cilantro.