I had intended to make a Korean meal tonight because I had all of the supplies, but I wasn't feeling like it after last night's kimchi stew (recipe to come at a later date). Instead I figured that I had to be able to do something Indian inspired with what I had on hand: green lentils, a large can of diced tomatoes, and some coconut milk. It turned out to be really satisfying and quite easy to make, not to mention inexpensive. I likely cooked a meal for six for about a total of $6, which otherwise is almost impossible to do. I highly recommend this for budget conscious weekday vegetarians.
1 cup dried green lentils (use these or mung beans, but not split red lentils or the texture will differ)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp tumeric
2 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp cayanne
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger (or dried may be substituted here)
2 tbsp chopped garlic 6 medium cloves
1 small diced onion
1 large can of diced or pureed tomatoes
1 can of reduced fat coconut milk
2 tsp salt
4 cups water
2 cups uncooked basmati rice and 4 cups water
Heat oil in a large saucepan on high heat for about a minute. Add ground cumin and ground ginger if not using fresh. Add chopped garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. It should brown lightly, but not burn. Add diced onions and sautee for about 1 minute stirring frequently. Stir in the full can of tomatoes, fresh ginger (if not using dry), tumeric, coriander, and salt and cayanne pepper. Cook, stirring occassionally for approximately five minutes. Oil will become shiny and mixed thoroughly. Add water and green lentils. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare basmati rice, either white or brown would work well. Stir the lentil mixture occasionally throughout the cooking process. Taste lentils to make sure that they are cooked, they should be soft but not mushy. Stir in coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve over basmati. Optionally top with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
This is great, healthy and an incredibly easy one pot meal. Give it a try!