Do you invent curries on your bike ride home? Apparently I do. I thought this one up whilst absentmindedly peddling down one of Calgary’s many bike paths, next to a wee swath of prairie. I suppose something about the fresh air and the semi-suicidal gophers darting on and off the paved pathway made me think of curry. It may have also been the doughnut I had at work saying “you should really have something healthy for dinner.” So I did.
Loaded with lentils, creamy from coconut milk, and with nutritional boosts from spinach and tomatoes, this flavourful curry is delicious over quinoa or any whole grain of your choice. The leftovers only improve with age (well, to a point, obviously), so feel free to whip up a big pot like I did, and then enjoy this for the rest of the week. Yum.
Lentil & Spinach Curry
Ghee or canola oil, as needed
1 onion, sliced
1 big garlic clove, minced
1″ ginger root, peeled and minced
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp smoked hot Hungarian paprika
1½ cups French lentils, rinsed
1 can coconut milk
1 (798mL) can chopped tomatoes
1 bunch spinach, rinsed, de-stemmed, and torn up a bit
Heat a tablespoon or two of ghee in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until quite dark and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add more ghee, and then the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant.
Add the mustard seeds and cook until the begin to pop (you may need more ghee here as well). Stir in the garam masala, cumin seeds, and parika, and then add the can of tomatoes, the coconut milk, and lentils. Simmer until the lentils are tender (~20 minutes).
To finish, stir in the spinach and let it wilt. Serve over rice or quinoa and enjoy!