Inspired by a recipe from Naturally Ella (http://naturallyella.com/red-lentils-and-spinach-in-masala-sauce/), this red lentil curry goes heavy on the vegetables and legumes with a nice bit of spice from chopped jalapeno and red pepper flakes. In an effort to lighten it up a bit, I use a slurry of almond milk and cornstarch in place of coconut milk--and I don't miss it at all!
Both the curry and rice can be frozen in freezer bags (I recommend separate bags). Reheat in a covered bowl in the microwave.
More at http://whateverpieces.com/2015/08/31/red-lentil-curry/ —Stephanie H.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds. Toast them in the dry pan for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Crush the seeds a bit with a mortar and pestle. (Or, place the spices in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.)
Add the garam masala, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, jalapeno and tomato paste and mash together, or pulse in a small food processor.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the onion and sauté about 5 minutes, until softened and just beginning to brown.
Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes until fragrant.
Pour in the tomatoes with their juices and stir, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add the almond milk and cornstarch to a jar or container with a lid and shake until combined. Pour the mixture and the water into the pot and bring to a boil.
Stir in the lentils. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 35-45 minutes until tender. Add more water if the pot ever seems too dry.
Stir in the spinach or kale and cook 2-3 minutes until wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve with cooked rice.
Combine the saffron and the water and let the mixture stand about 5 minutes so that the saffron can “bloom” (it’s ready when the water becomes yellowish).
Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the seeds. Toast in the dry pan for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Combine all ingredients and prepare the rice according to package instructions. (I throw it all in the rice cooker but the stovetop works too!) Fluff with a fork and serve.