I’ve been ramping up my vegetarian recipe repertoire and lentils have been a recent favorite of mine. They’re cheap and quick to cook. Lentils are crazy high in fiber and are a good source of iron and protein. Oh and they’re tasty, especially in this spicy Indian sauce that’s super easy to make. Add some roasted cauliflower and rice to your curried lentils to round out a tasty meal.
Let’s Talk Spices
There may be a few spices for this recipe that aren’t regulars in your spice cabinet, but they’re worth it! Curry powder is an Indian spice blend that forms the backbone of the flavor profile. Since it’s a blend, it encompasses several spices and saves you some measuring. But because it’s a blend there’s variety between brands on how they taste. I used Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder. I like the balance of savory and heat. Tumeric and coriander aren’t regulars for me, but I have used them in a few other things besides this recipe.
I try to eat vegetarian meals a few nights a week. It saves money and usually means we eat more veggies. If you watch the sourcing of your ingredients this recipe can easily be vegan. I use a jarred pasta sauce as the tomato base for the sauce. They snuck some milk ingredients in there! Keeping an eye on your pasta sauce, or using canned tomato sauce would fix this. Naan isn’t usually vegan either so if you want a vegan meal, skip it or find an alternative.
I used a 50/50 mix of red and green lentils, but you can use whatever you have. Green lentils take longer to cook and hold their bite more. Red lentils cook faster, so they break down some if cooked as long as the green ones. I like the mix of textures this gives. If you change your lentil composition you may need to adjust your cooking time. I don’t like onions, but you could add some. Someone in my house always tells me what I make would be good with onions. [eye roll] I have added onions to this by crushing them in a garlic press and that was ok with me. You could also add some bell peppers or other veggies.
These lentils might even be better the next day after all the spices meld together in the fridge. If you know me, you know I love me some leftovers! I never manage to make the right amount of rice to pair with lentils – but they go great in a quesadilla. I bet they’d be good with eggs for breakfast too.
Let me know how you like these curried lentils in the comments below, happy eating!