In certain contexts I really love lentils. Basically, they need to not be identifiable as lentils. Red lentils in a curry do this really well – you just cook them until they go soupy and creamy and wonderful. This also solves the problem of how to make a thick but healthy curry sauce. Plus you can adapt this curry to fit whatever you have in your fridge that needs eating. I call that a win.
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
200g spinach, washed
200g lentils, washed
1 large white onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
3 tbsp thai red curry paste (or more to taste)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 can reduced fat coconut milk (OR use the full can and 750ml stock if you want a creamier curry)
serve with rice
Serves 6 medium servings or 4 big servings
Calories: 190 (when serving 6, not including rice)
Takes 30-40 minutes to make
Stage one: Slice the onion and prep the mushrooms and pepper. Then fry the onion in the vegetable oil over a low heat until it is soft and lightly coloured. Add in the pepper, mushrooms, and 2 tbsp of the curry paste, raise the heat to medium-high and fry for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the stock if you’re using fresh stock, or boil the kettle if using powdered/cube stock. Wash the lentils in a seive until the water runs clear.
Stage two: Add the stock, 1 tbsp more curry paste, and boil. I know you’re meant to reduce it to a simmer immediately after reaching the boil, but I like my lentils really mushy, so I only reduce the heat to medium. Your choice! Leave for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare your rice.
Stage three: Stir in the coconut milk. Give it a taste, and add more coconut milk and more curry paste depending on how sweet or how spicy you like your curry. My husband doesn’t like particularly spicy food, so I left it as it was and it still tasted great. Finally, stir in the spinach until it wilts – this will only take a minute. Serve immediately.