Sunday, December 08, 2013

Pinch of Yum: Crockpot Red Lentil and Spinach Curry

I love Indian food.  LOVE IT.  But it's pretty much a major production to make it at home.  And I don't know of any cheap little holes in the wall near my apartment.  So I've had a serious Indian famine lately.  Lucky for me, trying to be vegetarian means you start looking at Indian and Asian food with a certain longing.  After all, they know how to do vegetables right.

This is pretty easy to make, as you just through the whole mess into a slow cooker and hit GO.  I had to seriously tinker with the recipe though, as the original came out surprisingly tasteless.  After a bunch of spices and salt later, it's pretty darn good.  And I'm always a fan of something that cooks without my help.

Crockpot Red Lentil and Spinach Curry
Loosely adapted from Pinch of Yum blog

2 cups red lentils
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 teaspoons garam masala
¾ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup coconut milk
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro for garnishing

Rinse the lentils and place them in a large crockpot. Add the diced onions, garlic, ginger, butter, curry paste, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, sugar, and cayenne. Stir to combine.

Pour the 2 cans of tomato sauce over the lentils. Refill the can with water once and add to the crockpot. Stir to make sure that the lentils are covered with liquid. 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 if the lentils are soaking up all the liquid. The amount of water or tomato puree you add depends on how soupy your want your lentils to be. Taste and season with salt. The lentils will be soft when they are done cooking.

Stir in the coconut milk and spinach.  When the spinach is wilted, add the lime juice.  Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving. Serve over basmati rice.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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