It has been a while since I shared a recipe but this recipe, inspired by Anupy Singla’s “South Indian Lentils With Curry Leaves” from “The Indian Slow Cooker” (amazon affiliate link), is something we make just about every week.
When my husband and I got married we received a slow cooker (amazon affiliate link) as a wedding gift and I was perplexed because as vegetarians I didn’t think we would use a slow cooker that much. It is wonderful for beans (see my post about a refried bean recipe here) and with this recipe, the red lentils break down wonderfully for a meal on their own or served over brown or white rice.
I normally hesitate to list ingredients when a recipe is derived from a cookbook, opting to instead point readers to the book itself, but my variant of Ms. Singla’s recipe cuts a number of ingredients out (I didn’t have fresh curry leaves, for example) or reduces them drastically (like the coconut milk and salt – she suggested two tablespoons and I use one teaspoon!). This makes a very generous batch so you can freeze half and serve half or have leftovers another night.
6 Quart Slow Cooker
1 Red Ripe Tomato, Quartered
3 Cups Red Lentils, Rinsed and Drained
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
7 oz Can of Diced Green Chiles
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
4 Teaspoons Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
2-3 Teaspoons Canola Oil
3/4 Cup of Coconut Milk
8 Cups Water
Heat the frying pan on medium until warm, then add the oil. Put the mustard seeds in the pan until they start popping and add the diced onion. Stir and add the turmeric, curry powder, and salt. Once the onions have softened you can add them to your slow cooker. While the onions are frying, feel free to rinse the red lentils in the strainer over the sink. Pick through the lentils as well to make sure there are not small pebbles or the like. Add the drained red lentils to the crock pot along with the diced chiles, tomatoes, and water.
Stir the mixture and set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours. Add the coconut milk and stir, then cook on high for half an hour. No worries if you are not home to do this at the 6 hour mark, your slow cooker should switch to the warm setting until you get home and can add the coconut milk.
You can halve the recipe but if you do, keep the coconut milk the same measurement but do halve the water along with everything else. Sometimes the curry can me thicker or more liquid depending on the liquid from the onion and tomato but it is always delicious. Ms. Singla includes cumin, coriander, and even fresh curry leaves in her recipe but I have streamlined it a great deal for my kitchen.
The leftover coconut milk (if you use a large can) is great in smoothies. Enjoy!