To reduce cost and to keep within our food budget we are eating a lot more food without meat. I have always made vegetarian curry using chickpeas but was short of them the other week and so I tried using red lentils instead. This is now our favourite curry and tastes a bit like a Thai curry. They were brilliant as they absorbed the flavour of the spices but they also added a lot of protein and fibre. I like using red lentils as they do not need soaking, but I do usually give them a rinse to wash off any dust or dirt. I used American cups to make this meal as I find it easier than getting out the scales. You can buy them from places like Poundland very cheaply in the UK. Alternatively, before I got some cups, I used to use a small tea cup for recipes. The slow cooker is one of the cheapest ways to cook and I was going out for the day and so I made it in that and cooked it on slow. Most recipes add the coconut milk near the end but I just bunged every thing in which is my favourite way of cooking.
2 cups of dried red lentils
4 cups of cubed sweet potato (2 medium potatoes)
1 pint of vegetable stock
1 can of tinned tomatoes, chopped or a large cup of roasted fresh tomatoes.
Half a red pepper (or any fridge gravel that you have that needs eating up eg carrots, green beans. I usually add spinach too if I have some).
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic or a heaped spoon of lazy garlic
Make your own paste using 1 heaped dessertspoon of coconut oil (soften in the microwave if hard), 2 heaped dessert spoons of garlic powder, 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 level dessertspoon of turmeric, 2 heaped dessertspoons of garam masala, 1 level tsp of chilli flakes)
1tsp of sugar (optional)
1tsp ground ginger
Big pinch of salt
3tsp of tomato puree
1 can of coconut milk (or at least a cup full). I use coconut powder and make it up as it is a lot cheaper.
- Rinse the lentils in a sieve and add them to the slow cooker.
- Add all of the other ingredients besides spinach and stir well.
- Put the lid on and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, or 7 to 8 ours on low.
- Sometimes I need to add a splash more water if I have added a lot of vegetables
- If you are adding spinach add it 30 minutes from the end of cooking time and stir in.
- Taste and add more seasoning if required.
- Serve with rice or Naan and garnish with coriander if you have some.
Other ways to serve
This made enough for 6 to 8 helpings and so we freeze it in portions as a quick meal another time. It freezes really well. If you don’t have the various spices you could add curry powder instead. I buy my spices and pulses from the World Food aisle in large supermarkets as they work out a lot cheaper. We use curry in different ways. Sometimes I will put curry into pasties for picnics or when we are travelling. I also use it on baked potatoes, in toasted wraps done in the air fryer, or even have on toast for lunch. This is a really healthy meal that fills us up and is full of protein. Enjoy.