The Occasion: When your crockpot repertoire needs some new talent, Red Curry Lentils are here to spice things up. Make a batch on Sunday for workday lunches or simple suppers. This is probably not a company dish … unless your guests are fans of flavor over presentation. (The smart ones are!)
What Makes It Special? Set it and forget it = crockpot love. This could not be easier. Plus Red Curry Lentils is essentially a vegan and gluten-free meal. I added the optional butter, so no vegan for me, but you get the point.
The Playlist: Top of the list when I searched on songs with Spicy in the title, this catchy tune from electronica musician Shawn Wasabi – Spicy Boyfriend – has me completely addicted. You’ve been warned.
Click on the photos below to enlarge them and read the captions.
The recipe from Pinch of Yum yields 16 servings so I made a half batch, which is reflected in the recipe below. I adjusted only a few things to suit our taste – more curry and an extra splash or two of coconut milk. You should feel free to modify at will too. Red Curry Lentils is a flexible and forgiving dish, able to accommodate a variety of substitutions.
Recipe source: Pinch of Yum
Yield: About 8 servings
- 2 cups brown lentils (yellow or green are also fine, as long as they are whole lentils, not split)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or shredded
- 2 tablespoons butter (Note: You can substitute vegan butter if desired or omit it completely)
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste – Add another teaspoon if you like it spicy
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 large can tomato puree (28 ounces)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut milk Note: Do not get light coconut milk; it will be too watery
- Chopped cilantro or parsley as garnish
- Steamed basmati rice (other varieties of rice are fine) for serving
- Rinse the lentils and place them in a large crockpot. Add the diced onions, garlic, ginger, butter, curry paste, garam masala, turmeric, sugar, and cayenne. Stir to combine.
- Pour 1/2 can of tomato puree over the lentils. Add 4 cups water to the crockpot. Lentils should be covered with liquid. Stir. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- Check once or twice during cooking to add more water or tomato puree if the lentils are soaking up all the liquid. Ultimately, the amount of liquid you add depends on how soupy you want your lentils to be. You will probably use the remainder of the tomato puree and perhaps another ½-cup or so of water.
- Lentils will be tender when they are done cooking. Taste and season with salt at the end.
- Stir in the coconut milk and sprinkle with chopped herbs just before serving.
- Serve over rice or naan bread.