This simple and comforting winter warm-up meal is made with green lentils and cauliflower florets simmered in spicy red curry coconut sauce.
I could eat this dish every night, all winter long. That would make for a very boring blog though. The thing is, it’s February, and this time of year, I’m just not up for super complicated meals. What I am up for is throwing stuff into a pot and having magical spicy Thai-inspired stew pop out a half hour or so later. That’s pretty much what this meal was like.
I wasn’t entirely sure how this one would work out. Green lentils and red curry seem like an odd combination to me, but I’ve always got green lentils hanging around, and if there’s a vegetable that’s hogging up space in my fridge, chances are it’s a big old cauliflower crown, so I didn’t even have to run out and buy anything special for this dish.
As to the curry paste, I went with Thai Kitchen brand this time, and it worked out pretty good. This is probably the most common brand of curry paste in supermarkets that’s vegan-friendly. Maesri is my favorite brand, but be forewarned that it’s about eight hundred times hotter than Thai Kitchen, which is probably why it’s my brand of choice, when I actually have the forethought to get my hands on some. Finally, if you’re super ambitious, try whipping up a batch of your own. It’s freezer friendly.
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1-14 oz. can light coconut milk
- 2-4 tbsp. red curry paste (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 cups cauliflower florets (about ½ of a large crown)
- salt to taste
- cooked rice
- chopped scallions
- fresh cilantro
- Place lentils into a large saucepan and cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer until lentils are just almost fully cooked, but still a bit firm in their centers, about 20-25 minutes. Drain into a colander.
- Return saucepan to stove and coat the bottom with oil. Place over medium heat and add garlic and ginger. Sauté 1 minute. Return lentils to pot and stir in coconut milk, curry paste, maple syrup, lime juice and cauliflower. Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover, add salt to taste, and adjust any seasonings to your liking.
- Divide into bowls with rice, scallions and cilantro. Serve.