Lentil and Spinach Curry in a Hurry

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.

Serves 2

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.

15 comments

  1. I love your recipes, and I also think it very smart to include fast, delicious recipes for people who are always rushing.

  2. Hello, just took down the recipe as my husband and I love Indian food. will do an incarnation of this recipe but was wondering if the lentils in the recipe are dry or already prepared? also this recipe would probably work well with chickpeas

  3. Good point. The lentils are dry. I haven’t seen canned red lentils available. I imagine they would be too mushy anyway. Chickpeas would probably work and, if you used canned, would be even faster.

  4. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love Indian food and now that fall semester will be starting soon, making it will fit into my schedule. I look forward to your recipes to come!

  5. Wow, this dish sounds so simple, yet delicious! I am heading back to school myself and have been furiously writing down any quick recipe I can find. This is definitely going in my stash!

  6. “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.”
    Where else can I read about this?

  7. There is a section of the site devoted to Easy Peasy Meals. I am discontinuing the series for the time being, but will perhaps resume again next summer.

  8. wpolscemamymocneseo

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances seem to get something done.

  9. Just put this site on a yahoo forum so a few more people might check it out.

  10. Just the recipe I was looking for. Having recently moved, I realized just how many dried legumes I had lurking in my pantry, and we got spinach in our CSA box this week.

    I have a similar recipe in a cookbook, but they haven’t all surfaced in the move yet.

    Have you ever made this with potatoes in it? Potatoes and curry are beautiful together.

  11. [...] and Spinach Curry (adapted from Kitchem Demure and Madhur [...]

  12. [...] 1 clove of garlic, minced Lentil and Spinach Curry in a Hurry | kitchen demure [...]

  13. I don’t understand why I keep seeing people say that lentils are hard to cook. I have used many different color lentils and they all cook the same,which is in a very short amount of time. Also do not cook them in water, no matter what spices you are adding to them they will turn out very bland. Use chicken,beef or veggie stock or broth.

  14. This is the second time I am making this recipe for my family of four and I am doubling it. We all loved it and the only complaint was that there wasn’t more of it. Trust me this is a rare thing as I am the only vegetarian in the family.

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