Spicy Lentil Casserole of Hidden Spices and Lentils

Spicy Lentil Casserole it said (http://www.simpleveganrecipes.co.uk/recipes/vegan-lentil-casserole-recipe.html).  I am looking for both the spice and the lentils.  But this can be fixed pretty easily — which I will do on my next batch.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (or 2t minced garlic from a jar)
  • 1lb 9oz (700g) potatoes, cut into chunks — err… I think what I ended up with was more like 4c of potatoes when measured as chunks.
  • 4 carrots thickly sliced
  • 2 parsnips, thickly sliced — and PEELED!
  • 2T curry powder
  • 1.75 pint (1 litre) vegetable stock — in other words, 3-1/2 cups
  • 4oz (100g) red lentils
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (optional) — OR 1T ground corriander

Heat 2T oil in a large pot and cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the potatoes, carrots and parsnips and cook over a high heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring until the vegetables are golden.

Stir in 2T curry powder and the stock and bring to a boil. Add the lentils, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are cooked. Add fresh coriander, or 1 tbsp ground coriander.

That is pretty straight forward, but I would do things differently the next time.

First, I approximated my own curry using strange arts of divination and insanity I can’t repeat.  But what I did find was a recipe online that I would happily tweak.

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix well and store in an airtight container.

I would start by taking that up to 3/4t red pepper and going from there.  Maybe even some spicy paprika would tune this up nicely.

Second, I would add more lentils so this was more of a lentil dish and less of a potato/parsnip dish.  I would double the lentils and add another 1-1/2 cups of water or stock.

Third, I like garlic and this would benefit from the equivalent of a 3rd clove of garlic.

The adventure was small in this one, but from time to time we need a simple quest like finding a shrubbery.


One thought on “Spicy Lentil Casserole of Hidden Spices and Lentils

  1. Keep in mind that “curry powder” is a misleading term of Western (read: British Imperialist) origin.

    A “kari” is a dish featuring a flavorful sauce over vegetables and/or meat and the nature of that flavor can variety enormously not only from India to Thailand but from dish to dish even within Indian cuisine (without even getting into discussions about the enormous differences between Southern and Northern cuisines within India).

    I have two pre-made blends in the house: “garam masala” and “muchi curry” which could not be more different. Well, they could, but you know what I mean. I also make my own tweaked blend when I get around to going to the Desi grocer for whole spices.

    My blend includes fennel seeds, black and yellow mustard seeds, methi (fenugreek seeds), and kalonji (nigella seeds), cumin seeds, turmeric and cayenne powder (to taste, based on your heat preferences). I also add coriander and/or cardamon to taste, depending on the dish.

    Apparently to get super serious authentic Indian flavor you need something called “black salt” which has sulfur in it and which is common to much of the Indian food we know in this country. I would compare it to trying to make Thai food without kafir leaf. You can do it, but it will be “missing something” you can’t put your finger on.

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