Sunday, June 16, 2013
Thai Peanut Curry Lentils with Spinach
Probably one of my favorite flavors is yellow curry. It's savory with a slight hint of spice and it's suuuper yummy when paired with the decadent creaminess of a coconut milk based sauce. I think coconut milk has gotten a bad rap over the years - while it is high in fat, it does NOT contain any trans-fatty acids (the bad fats that clog arteries - boooo)it is also high in vitamins B, C, and E as well as containing high amounts of antioxidants (yeah, that healthy stuff in green tea). It also tastes very similar to a heavy cream based sauce which is probably the most important win. Needless to say, this recipe is super tasty and good for you too! Not to mention you'll seem super exotic and awesome when you cook it...at least I did.
Thai Peanut Curry Lentils
2 cups dry brown lentils
chicken or vegetable broth
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp yellow curry powder
2 TBS yellow curry paste, leveled.
1 can coconut milk
1 TBS peanut butter (preferably all natural)
3 handfuls of fresh spinach
crushed peanuts for garnish (optional)
Serve over white rice (optional)
1.Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear (this is very important or the lentils will get "scummy"), put the lentils in a pot with enough broth to cover and simmer covered until lentils tender, about 15 min. (you could just use water but I think broth adds more flavor).
2.While the lentils are cooking: In a large skillet or saucepan, caramelize the onions in the vegetable oil.
3.While the onions are cooking, combine the spices in a separate bowl and mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the spice mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. This "toasts" the spices and brings out the flavors.
4.Stir in the coconut milk and allow the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready. Add peanut butter and mix to combine. This is your chance to taste your sauce and see if it's to your liking, you may need to add more curry or salt depending on your preferences, remember, the lentils are going to soak up A LOT of flavor when you add them in.
5.When the lentils are tender drain them briefly (they should have absorbed most of the water but you don't want the curry to be too watery). Mix the lentil into the curry base then add the spinach and cover over medium heat, the spinach should wilt within a matter of minuets. Serve immediately.
6.I garnished mine with some chopped peanuts and sriracha for a kick!
*You could uses red or green lentils in place of brown but they might not hold up as well, they tend to have a softer texture than the brown lentils.