Introduction: Curried Cauliflower With Red Lentils
Spicy beans and veggies, featuring the ubiquitous roasted tomatoes. A great side dish or vegetarian main.
Step 1: Saute Onions and Hot Peppers
2 medium onions, chopped
hot peppers, chopped (type/amount to taste; I used Serranos)
canola oil to coat pan
Add all ingredients to a large pot and cook over medium-high heat until the onions begin to soften.
Step 2: Add Cauliflower and Seasonings
1 head cauliflower, chopped
ground black pepper
lots of garlic, chopped
Add the cauliflower, pepper, and garlic and stir around for a bit.
Step 3: Add Beans and Broth
2c split dry red lentils
3-4c broth (chicken, beef, veg- your pick)
Wash, drain, and add the red lentils. Stir them about to pick up all the oil and seasoning. This recipe uses red lentils because they cook quickly, much faster than split peas or many other options. They'll turn yellow upon cooking.
Just as they consider starting to stick, dump in the broth and stir. I used homemade chicken broth, but if you are without such wonderful things water and some boullion cubes will do.
One of these days I'll put up an instructable for making stock- it's dead easy if you've got a pressure cooker.
Step 4: Add Spices
Now add lots of good curry powder; a couple of tablespoons should do it. Add a bit of garam masala if you've got it as well. The taste will mellow and mingle during cooking, so you really are going to have to guess and go for a nice color instead of being able to taste-test.
Adjust the heat to medium and allow it to cook, stirring periodically to avoid sticking.
No worries- if you over-spice the dish you can serve it with yogurt to soften the spices.
Step 5: Add Roasted Tomatoes
After the mixture has started to cook down, chop and add a cup or two of roasted tomatoes.
They will add more flavor and less water than fresh tomatoes, and are able to stand up to the strong flavors of a curry quite well.
Continue to cook, stirring as needed, and adding additional liquid if necessary to avoid sticking.
Step 6: Final Seasoning
1 bunch cilantro, chopped coarsely
1t tamarind paste
salt and pepper to taste
When the mixture has begun to thicken up to a nice stew consistency and the lentils are soft, stir in a scoop of tamarind paste. When it's well-mixed, turn the heat off and add the cilantro, then salt and pepper to taste.
If you need more garlic now's a fine time to grate a clove or two in. Additional depth of acidic flavor can come from lemon or lime juice.
Serve warm, with yogurt on the side. An Afghani coworker gave this a thumbs-up, so it's at least somewhere near what her mother used to make.
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