I love curry and I’m perfectly willing to spend a lot of time toasting and grinding a dozen different spices and preparing several different dishes in order to enjoy a Indian extravaganza, but sometimes I want my curry fix a little faster and simpler.
This curry is hardly any effort at all. It uses red lentils, which cook very quickly compared to regular lentils, and it uses your favorite ready made curry powder. I’m such a snob, I usually sniff at the ready ground premixed powders, but the truth is that there are some very good ones available that almost make the idea of making your own seem like a pretension.
With school starting in the forseeable future (gasp! I know, shame on me for even admitting that summer might ever end), and knowing that there are hoards of students who are suddenly going to be left to their own devices, I am going to start featuring a weekly meal that is simple and requires a minimum of skill, ingredients and resources. Preferably these recipes will not require any special equipment more than a hot plate, a knife and a pot or two. Perhaps I should call it my “Starving Student Special”, but the truth is that recipes like this are invaluable to everyone, it could just as easily be called the “Harried Housewife Special”, or the “I Can’t Work, And Commute, And Live, AND Cook Special”. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or would like to know how to make something, send me an email (admin[at]kitchendemure[dot]com) or leave a comment below.
Lentil Spinach Curry in a Hurry
Curry powders go stale very quickly, try to buy it in smaller amounts, particularly if you don’t use it very often.
1 cup of red lentils
2 cups of water
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp of peanut or vegetable oil
2 tsp of your favorite curry powder (I usually use a Garam Masala or Madras curry powder)
2 tbsp tomato paste
A couple of handfuls of chopped spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small to medium pan add the oil and the onions. Turn the heat to med/high and fry, stirring constantly until they soften a little. Add the garlic and the ginger and continue to stir. When the mixture is lightly golden, add the curry powder and stir for another 20 seconds or until you can smell the spices. Add the lentils and water and bring to a simmer. Let the lentils cook for 15-20 min. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the spinach leaves and serve.