Red Lentil & Pumpkin Curry
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm not much of a recipe person. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule - I read recipes all the time for inspiration and when it comes to baking - recipes are almost crucial. But for my savoury recipes and meals, I really struggle to follow a recipe. Always tempted to swap out spices, add in veggies, not trust the author etc etc. Until recently.
I've made it a goal of mine, to expand the meals I make and eat and try new recipes. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing inherently wrong with cooking haphazardly but it ends up meaning that you eat the same foods or variation of the same meals ALL THE TIME. So I decided to change that.
I ate this curry at a family friends house on our bi-annual family get togethers and asked the cook what was in it and how she made it. It tasted so different to the curries I usually made - mild, almost sweet and seriously delicious. Only recently having incorporated lentils back into my diet (due to tummy troubles), I can report - I have truly missed them. They make this curry wholesome, filling and add a nice bite! It's nothing fancy, just a humble and simple curry to add to your repertoire. Thanks Sarah!
Red Lentil & Pumpkin Curry
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 kilo of pumpkin, skin on or off, and chopped*
1 tbsp oil (I used rice bran)
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3cm piece of ginger, minced
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1/4 cup curry paste (I use green or red)
400ml tin of coconut milk or cream
water, to desired consistency
1/4 bunch of coriander, chopped
Any other desired veggies such as spinach, broccoli or peas*
1. Cook lentils in a large pan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender, drain and set aside.
2. Boil, steam or roast pumpkin until tender, set aside.*
3. Heat oil in a wok (or heavy based large saucepan), add onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until lightly browned.
4. Add the curry paste and mustard seeds and stir fry until fragrant and spices are cooked-off.
5. Add the cooked lentils and pumpkin, and coconut milk or cream and stir to combine.
6. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and serve over rice, noodles or extra veg!
7. Alternatively, freeze in batches. See notes!
* Softer pumpkin like butternut, Kent (also known as Jap) will disintegrate into the curry (which I don't mind) but if you like big chunks of pumpkin, I recommend using a firmer pumpkin like Queensland Blue.
* If using a softer pumpkin like Kent or butternut - you won't need to cook for long (or at all) before adding to the curry. If using Queensland blue or a firmer pumpkin - try roasting. It adds a nice sweetness. 200 degrees celsius, 15 mins on either side with a drizzle of oil will do the trick.
* I've left spinach and vegetables out of this one as they don't freeze the best. I make this ahead of time and freeze in portions for easy and quick meals. I find if I add the veggies when cooking, they go mushy after being frozen. When you reheat a portion add a handful of peas, spinach or some chopped up broccoli and heat through!