250g green lentils (I used Puy)
1 onion, chopped
1cm garlic, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
1 generous tbsp korma curry paste
400ml can coconut milk
100g chopped spinach leaves
Fried onions (if you want the texture) to garnish
For the Korma curry paste if you don't have a jar:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 fresh green chillies
- 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons ground almonds
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
If you want to make the korma paste, the method is at the end of this!
In a large frying pan, put 2 tbsps veg oil and then fry gently the onion, garlic and ginger until soft and fragrant.
Add a generous tbsp of Korma curry paste and stir/fry it with the onions for a minute or so until you can really smell the spices.
Add the coconut milk and water, and stir to combine. Pour in the lentils and bring to the boil. Turn down to a slow simmer and cook for 30 minutes or so (for Puy lentils) until the lentils are cooked but still have a bit of bite. Throw in the spinach about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time and stir in as they wilt
Serve with rice, garnish with Fried crispy onions and feel righteous.
For the korma paste:
- Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder. Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. I found I needed to add some water to make the paste a good consistency for processing. I put the left overs (I used half this quantity in the recipe) in a jar covered with oil for use in the next few weeks.
Even more difficult that trying to re-create your own food memory is trying to recreate someone else's. Make that someone a 9 year old (the Youngest) and make the memory pretty indistinct and you have a Challenge. But we like a Challenge. The particular meal here was a Green Lentil Curry that she had eaten (and obviously thoroughly enjoyed) at our Neighbours Across the Street. She had eaten it over a year ago and had been asking me to make it on and off ever since. I asked the Neighbours across the Street for the recipe, but it turns out he had been busking it when he made it. So although he could provide me a list of what he remembered being in it, recipe came there none.
So the challenge is to recreate a food memory where neither the person who has the memory, or the one who created it could actually remember what it tasted like. Oh well.
This fell on a Sunday too, and the Removed Cousin plus her Offspring and the Other Removed Cousin had been over for a visit. Very good time, and Pickled Cucumber (the younger Removed Cousin's vice) was handed over to replenish her supplies. I had a piece of Pork in the oven for slow roasting, but by the time I got round to it, it was really too late to cook it. As the Offspring have confessed to being bored of the predictability of Sunday Roast (1st world problems...) I thought I would ask if there was anything else they would like instead "Green Lentil Curry" chirped the Youngest. So, Gauntlet thrown again I decided to pick it up and try to make a recipe up which came close to the original. I added crispy fried onions on top, for some texture and also some spinach for a bit of colour and served it with brown rice.
To be honest, a mixed reception. The Middle Girl was never going to enthuse ("I don't like Lentils") but the other two seemed to like it and ate well. I enjoyed it and from this recipe have left overs for lunch too. Incidentally the original ingredient list included "korma curry paste" which can come from a jar if you have some. I didn't so Mr Google provided a recipe for that too which i whizzed up and was very tasty. I give it at the end of the ingredients list for completeness, and this will produce double the amount you need for this recipe.
The quantities are generous for 4