Try this delicious (and easy!) vegan lentil curry.
A bag of dried lentils will feed you for many meals. Like dried beans, they’re very economical but with the added benefit that they do not need to be presoaked. That makes them great for a last-minute dinner when you don’t have anything planned. This deliciously creamy lentil curry features chunks of eggplant, which help create a filling main dish, thanks to their fleshy texture. Serve this curry alone or over rice, with naan or bread on the side for sopping up the last bits out of your bowl.
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil, for pan, divided
- 1 tablespoon (6 g) cumin seeds
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons (4 g) curry powder
- 1 cup (200 g) dried red lentils, rinsed under cold water
- 7 ounces (200 g) frozen spinach
- 2 cups (475 ml) vegetable stock or water
- 1 (14-ounce) [400-g] can crushed tomatoes
- 15 cherry tomatoes
- 1 small eggplant, cubed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (9 g) salt, or or to taste, divided
- 1 (14-ounce) [400-ml] can coconut milk
- Cooked rice, for serving (optional)
- Optional garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, sliced lime, plain vegan yogurt, vegan naan
In a large saucepan or pot, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds, or until they darken in color slightly and are fragrant. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute more, until tender. Finally, add the curry powder and fry for 30 seconds, to release the aroma.
Add the lentils, spinach, stock and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and cherry tomatoes, season with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and fry until the eggplant is soft and golden brown and the tomatoes blister, about 10 minutes.
When the lentils are ready, add the eggplant mixture, coconut milk and the remaining teaspoon of salt, or to taste, to the lentils. Heat for a minute, then serve with your choice of garnishes.
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Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Frugal Vegan by Melissa Copeland, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Melissa Copeland