Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Easy Lentil Coconut Curry

This will be the year! I am sure of it- the year of eating healthy, organic food on a budget.

I've promised this before and failed miserably (after a rather public confession of changing my ways in the local paper!) But I am sure of it now. Inspired by my second-hand Christmas gift of a Hare Krishna cookbook, excitedly I am off to Nirvana to gather some legumes. (Nirvana is our local organic market, ironic how it sounds like I am ascending to a higher plain by going there!)

I tell my husband about my new idea of 2011 being the year to eat on the cheap- mostly organic and local vegetarian meals and he is skeptical. I insist that we will continue to eat yummy food but with the addition of lots of healthy, protein-rich legumes! The challenge will be to prepare tasty, organic and cheap (!) food that my husband and kids will also enjoy.

Before I get into the onslaught of Hare Krishna recipes this year, this recipe seems like a fitting start to 2011 because it will ease us into this gently. It comes from our dear friend Monica. She makes it often when we come over because we love it but we have also started making it at home because it is cheap, easy and delicious!

Monica's Lentil Coconut Curry

This is a mild, kid-friendly curry. The coconut oil in the recipe adds an extra dimension to the curry but use butter or vegetable oil if that is what you have.

3 tbsp coconut oil, butter or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 large apples, peeled and cubed
2 cups of any lentils you can get your hands on (we prefer red lentils as they cook quickly!)
2-4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth, we prefer it a bit soupier so we use the 4 cups)
1 can coconut milk
1 lime
2 tbsp curry powder
sea salt, to taste
cilantro &/or grated coconut, to serve

1. Cook onion, garlic and celery in coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
2. Add apples and cook for another 10 minutes.
3. Stir in curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add stock and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
4. Add lentils. Bring to a boil and stir constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Once the lentils are cooked, add coconut milk.
6. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, cilantro and a sprinkle of coconut if you wish! Great with naan, rice or on its own.