Day 293: Lentil & Veg Curry

It’s a miracle that we didn’t have finger food for dinner tonight, considering I have spent most of today editing/revising Grazing for a spring re-release. Why on a Sunday? Because I said I’d have it all done last Wednesday. I was born without time management skills; it’s one of my more significant defects. (Which is why now, at almost 10 on a Sunday night, I’m settling in for what promises to be an all-nighter in front of the computer.)

How I made the dinner decision: I tested a daal dip with lentils and curry the other day and had about a cup of leftover mooshy lentils. Also: too many peppers and tomatoes I bought while they were cheap, a bag of spinach in the fridge, and half a can of coconut milk left over from said dip. Coconut milk is shockingly high in fat, particularly the saturated kind, and so when I use it I use the light variety – otherwise you could use evaporated milk and a capful of coconut extract for the same effect.


Easy Veg Curry

Recipe link


October 19, 2008

The measurements here are really so loosey-goosey - I used a small Yukon gold potato, an onion, a half a pepper, some garlic, a tomato and a half, about a cup of lentils and a few handfuls of spinach. Just use common sense and start the sturdier veg (ie potatoes) earlier than the softer ones (ie zucchini and spinach).

  • Makes: Serves 4-6, depending on what you add.


a drizzle of canola oil

1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced or chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (bottled is OK, unlike bottled garlic)

1-2 tsp. curry paste

1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 14 oz. (398 mL) can diced tomatoes, drained, or a chopped fresh tomato or two

1-2 cups zucchini, green beans, potato, cauliflower or eggplant, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup canned or cooked lentils

1/2-1 14 oz. (398 mL) can coconut milk

spoonful of mango or peach chutney (optional)

1 small tart apple, chopped (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

A couple handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped

Chopped peanuts, salted or unsalted, to sprinkle on top (optional)


1In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in oil for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add any veg that take longer to cook (ie potatoes and cauliflower) along with the curry paste and cook for a few more minutes.

2Add the pepper and any other veggies you’ve chosen. Sauté them for a few minutes, just until the vegetables start to release their juices and soften.

3Add the tomatoes and cook until most of the moisture has cooked off, then add the coconut milk and chutney and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the apple and cook for about 5 minutes. You could always add some shrimp or leftover chicken or turkey) right about here too.

4Season with salt and pepper and stir in the spinach; cook for a minute, just until it wilts. Serve immediately over rice with chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.

Makes: Serves 4-6, depending on what you add.

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15 comments on “Day 293: Lentil & Veg Curry

  1. robyn
    October 19, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    TOASTED WITH PEANUT BUTTER??? Why did you have to plant that suggestion in my head?

  2. Mrs. M
    October 19, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Mmmmm….I love a good curry and I really LOVE coconut milk & in fact stocked up today. So sad about the high fat content!
    What’s your experience/opinion on making your own yogurt cheese? I’m about to try it for the first time tonight [soy version] and hope to elliminate cream cheese & even mayo from our lives. My W is dairy free for health reasons and my butt needs to be…I have a fat tooth which spreads to other areas! Hoping yc will help.

  3. maplesugar
    October 19, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    It could be worse robyn, she could have suggested say PC Dulce de Leche or Nutella – neither of which I can keep in my pantry…which is a good thing since I happen to have made banana bread tonight too. 😉

  4. JulieVR
    October 19, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I’d love to tell you that yogurt cheese can replace all the fatty dairy in your life, but sadly it cannot. In my world, anyway! You may like it more than I do. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t quite the same. You may have difficulty making it properly with soy yogurt.. does it contain gelatin?

  5. mmac
    October 20, 2008 at 8:55 am

    A new Grazing?! Yay! My copy is dog-eared, stained and falls open automatically to some of my faves. Not that there’s anything wrong with that …

  6. Kathryn
    October 20, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Question & a comment for Mrs. M.

    The question: I have considered adding coconut extract to evaporated milk, but the only coconut extract that I have found is imitation. Is there such a thing as “real coconut extract”?

    Mrs. M. Donvier (for one) sells a yogurt cheese maker. It works great. I bought mine at the housewares place in the St. Lawrence Market (if you are in the GTA).


  7. Theresa
    October 20, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I have to know….. does M eat all this kind of thing? How did you manage to convince him he needed grains instead of BEEF. :) still working on Mark!

  8. Carolann
    October 21, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Why is bottled ginger okay but bottled garlic not?

  9. Elaine
    October 21, 2008 at 8:46 am

    That curry recipe looks fantastic. Now that the weather is getting colder, curry dishes are my go-to “use up the produce drawer” recipe. Dare I say, curry is the new chili? In my kitchen it is, at least.

    Re: the high fat content of coconut milk – yes, it’d be hard to recreate the creaminess of curry made with milk/heavy cream/etc. (there’s a reason why everyone loves Indian Butter Chicken!), but I have found that substituting a mix of yogurt and raw, finely-blended cashews (or almonds, or walnuts) also makes for a nice consistency and taste–the nuttiness plays off the zing of the curry, and only needs a dash of lemon or lime juice to round it out.

  10. JulieVR
    October 21, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Bottled ginger is usually just ginger, and tastes like ginger; bottled garlic usually has other ingredients (I’ve seen modified milk ingredients on bottled minced garlic!) and just seems to taste nasty – it’s nothing like fresh.

    Another trick: peel and puree a bunch of fresh ginger and freeze it in ziploc bags – flatten it first, so that when frozen, you can snip off a piece of ginger and add it directly to your recipe.

  11. Sarah
    June 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Hey there.. when you say curry paste, which kind do you mean? I know you live in Calgary so we probably have similar stores here in Mississauga.

  12. Hayley
    March 29, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    I realize this post is almost 1o years old now!!, but I am making this for dinner tonight via your cookbook and can’t find where to add the lentils in your directions. I googled to see if I could find a recipe online, and I still can’t see the direction for lentils. Am I missing something? I am also curious about the curry paste. I’ve never used it before and was about to substitute curry powder when a different google search vetoed that idea. I ended up using a little bit of cardamon, cinnamon, cumin and coriander instead. It’s really good! Now to see if it’s husband and toddler approved…..

    • Julie
      April 2, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      Oh geez, sorry about that! just add them with the rest of the veggies…

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