This deliciously creamy red lentil coconut curry is flavourful and super easy to make. It is a great lockdown recipe as it is mostly a raid your pantry recipe using curry paste (although you can just use dried spices and a sofrito of onion, garlic and bell pepper), dried lentils and a can of coconut milk. This also includes a recipe for homemade red curry paste, which is a great way to improve the flavour of your curry as well as adjust it to your own needs in terms of heat. This is vegan.
Cooking my way around world cuisine is still the overall theme of this lockdown/social distancing period we are currently living in. This time I made a red lentil curry, so India via Thailand because I used a Thai Curry blend, lemon grass, red chilli and coconut. Fusion was all the rage a while ago, right. This was the first time I used a red curry paste (homemade) instead of just sautéing the base vegetables (onion, garlic, bell pepper) and then adding dried spices, which is still the alternative if you want to skip making a curry paste from scratch or you are missing some fresh vegetables. A curry paste is a great way to go if you want to avoid chopping vegetables and you have some fresh chillies and bell peppers that you want to use up. You can just as well use a store-bought curry paste. Curries are great because they are a very forgiving dish and hard to mess up.
Red Curry Paste
Yield: 1 small jar or two uses* Difficulty: 1/5 Time: 5 minutes
• 1 red onion, quartered
• 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
• 1-3 red chillies (depends on heat and personal taste, with or without seeds)
• 4 cloves of peeled garlic
• 1 tbl tomato paste
• 2 ½ tsp curry powder
• ½ tsp ground lemon grass
• ½ tsp cayenne
• ½ tsp ginger (or fresh)
• ½ ground coriander
• ½ tsp cumin
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp olive oil
- Put all the ingredients above except for the salt into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Weigh the curry paste and add about 2% salt to the paste to better preserve the fresh mixture. If used immediately season to taste in the dish.
- Curry paste keeps for about a week in the fridge and a month in the freezer.
*Fresh curry paste is less concentrated and a little looser than store-bought, therefore you will need a little more.
Red Lentil Coconut Curry
Yield: 4 portions Difficulty: 2/5 Time: 30 minutes
• 150 gr red lentils
• red curry paste*
• curry powder
• 1 can coconut milk
• soy sauce
• lime juice
• parsley or cilantro
- Rinse the red lentils until the water runs clear and cook them tender according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Sauté the curry paste in a non-stick pot with a lid until slightly darkened on medium high heat.
- Add the lentils and coconut milk, season with salt and additional curry powder to taste and bring everything to a boil with a lid on (it splatters a lot) stirring occasionally (reducing or removing it from the heat). Leave it to reduce until it has reached the desired consistency.
- Season the curry to taste with lime juice, soy sauce, salt and sugar. Before serving stir some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro into the curry.
- Serve with some rice, flatbread or even noodles.
*Amount of curry paste depends on the paste you are using and personal taste. Sauté some onion, bell peppers until soft, then add minced garlic and quickly roasting spices before adding the lentils and coconut cream.
So there you have a super easy and delicious recipe for a red lentil curry which you can ear with rice, noodles, flatbread and even potatoes. Not sure why you would pair a curry with potatoes but I have seen people do it. Is that a thing anywhere else? You could also blend the curry completely smooth in case you are dealing with a lentil/legumes-hater, supposedly it also makes it easier to digest (but I have not tried it yet), they won’t even know it is in there. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and have a great day. Stay healthy and safe! #stayhome