It must be "baby season" again. Seems like a lot of my friends are welcoming little bundles of joy into their lives this summer. One of my girl friends, Susan, just had her first baby so my friend Rose and I made arrangements to visit and bring a few meals for the new mother and her family. Now Susan's vegetarian and her hubby doesn't do cheese so I was in a bit of a quandary as to what to make; however, I finally decided on a batch of mild coconut milk curry with chickpeas and lentils (since I know Susan loves Indian food) as well as some wild rice salad and some baked goods. I figured that would give them a variety of things to munch on if they didn't feel like cooking. Of course I made a skosh more so that I could have some for lunch tomorrow....mmmm!
Serves 6-8 people
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 carrots, diced
3 tablespoons mild Indian curry paste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 (13.5oz.) cans of coconut milk
2 cups whole green lentils, rinsed and picked through
2 cans (15 oz.) cooked chickpeas, rinsed
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup frozen peas
couple of dashes of hot sauce (optional)
handful of cilantro, chopped
1. In a large pot, heat canola oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions, cook until onions are soft.
2. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper, carrots, curry paste, spices and salt. Stir. Cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas, lentils, tomato paste and honey. Bring to a boil. Stir well.
4. Cover. Reduce to simmer. Cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add cauliflower and peas. Cook for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
6. Add a handful of chopped cilantro.
7. Adjust seasonings if necessary. (At this time, add a few splashes of hot sauce if you want it slightly spicier.)
8. Serve hot by itself or over rice.
9. (Optional) Garnish with plain yogurt, cilantro or chopped peanuts.