Our family loves curry.
In fact, though we like experimenting with cuisine from all cultures, I would say that Indian is one of our favorites.
Now, before I go on, let me say that this lentil recipe isn’t really curry – so don’t run away if you are not a curry fan.
And soon I hope to post a dish that DOES feature curry seasoning. And it is for sure my most requested recipe EVER.
Most Indian food, however, can be quite time consuming. So when I can get the taste of Indian spices in a fast, one pot meal, then I have the best of both worlds.
‘Cause these days, who has a lot of time to spend in the kitchen on elaborate steps? I have other things that need to be done.
Like photo albums (please don’t ask how many years behind I am. I need to start a support group for moms with empty photo albums :-).) Care to join me?
Anyhow, back to the recipe.
This recipe is adapted from a dish simply called “Red Lentils” by Southern Living.
It’s a pretty “Blah” name for a great dish.
It’s quick on its own, but really lickety-split in my pressure cooker. If you don’t have one of these yet, put it on your Christmas list now.
I know, I should get better at planning meals, but it sure is nice to not have any idea what you are going to have for dinner at 5:30 and have dinner on the table at 6:15.
And it can be done — without packages —
In 9 minutes in the pressure cooker.
Mom is happy and my family is happy too because they aren’t having popcorn, carrot sticks, and hard-boiled eggs (or sardines for my egg-allergic son) again because mom forgot to plan :-). (Did I mention that we never eat out and we don’t buy processed foods :-)?)
Here are some other of my super fast recipes that are “go to’s” when I don’t have much time.
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Ways to Serve
- RiceThis dish tastes great served over rice (which, by the way, I can cook in 20 minutes flat in my pressure cooker. Woo-hoo!) I always use brown rice due to its higher nutritive qualities (UPDATE: 5/16 – we sometimes eat white rice since there is now a concern about arsenic in brown rice.
Mostly we have actually greatly reduced grains so we serve this alone or with veggies or cauliflower rice.)
It would be fabulous over gluten-free pasta or spiralized veggie noodles too.
3. Add Ins
Next time I plan to add seasoned chicken pieces to this dish. Specifically, I think that sauteing small chunks of chicken in coconut oil and my Homemade All-Purpose Seasoning would be a wonderful addition.
My Chat Masala spice mix tastes great on this. We have this on our table at all times and put it on everything. Except – ahem – desserts :-).
You could also puree this and serve it as a dip for chips, veggies, or this Focaccia Flax Bread.
Oh – and if you are like us and you just LOVE curry dishes, see my recipe for Sweet Curry Powder – DIY – it is real winner and great money saver!
- 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil or other healthy fat. Nature's Way is one good brand.
- 1 onion, diced (or ~ 2 Tbsp. minced plus a bit of water to reconstitute)
- 8 garlic cloves, minced (see my tip on The Easiest Way to Peel Garlic)
- 28 oz (3½ cups) chicken broth (see notes* for a great place to buy it. Vegetable broth is also fine - see my Homemade Vegetable Broth Mix recipe)
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes (of course, fresh is fine also)
- 2½ cups red, brown, or green lentils, rinsed (you can use any kind of lentils (see notes**). The glycemic index of the reds is a bit higher so brown is a better choice if you're watching carb intake. And make sure that you read my post on How to De-Gas Beans. It's a must!)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper (optional. I left it out due to my youngest not liking spicy foods)
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil (I pulled mine out from my freezer. See myEasiest Way to Preserve Herbs.
- You may also substitute 2-3 Tbsp dried basil)
- Salt to taste (I recommend Real Salt and use about 2 tsp)
- Melt oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic. Saute 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
- Add broth and next 5 ingredients.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. (Red lentils will cook quicker than brown or green.) If using a pressure cooker, bring to a boil.
- Place the lid on the cooker and bring up to high pressure. Cook for 9 minutes on high [you may need a few more minutes since the tomatoes counteract the cooking of the lentils slightly.
- Conversely, you could add the tomatoes after cooking the beans and then let the resulting dish cook for a bit].
- Let pressure come down naturally. Remove lid carefully.)
- Stir in basil and salt to taste.
*Here is a great place to buy bone broth.
**The lentils in the photo are red lentils. Isn’t it interesting how they turn yellow when cooked?
Wonderful, fast, savory Indian cuisine in no time!
Do you have a favorite go-to dish when you forgot to plan dinner?
Please share for all of us sometimes-scattered moms!