Magic Curried Red Lentil Dal & Coconut Basmati Rice

With the fall weather quickly reminding me that I live in Minnesota again, I'm busting out the favorite fall recipes for ya'll.

My version of Curried Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Basmati Rice is always a big hit. Just writing those words makes my mouth water.  My favorite part about it is that the leftovers are even more delicious after the flavors have had time to luxuriate with one another overnight.  And the rice...well, it's magical. Seriously, how does something SO SIMPLE taste SO GOOD?

I'm convinced it's magic, which everyone could use a little more of in their life ;)

Curried Red Lentil Dal

1.5 cups lentils (rinsed)
4 cups water (or a little less if you want it less soupy)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion (diced)
2 sweet potatoes (cubed)
2 red or green peppers (diced)
1-2 Tbs red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp cumin
1-2 Tbs grated ginger
3 handfuls of spinach leaves
sea salt to taste

Boil lentils in water until soft, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, heat a heavy stockpot over moderate heat and then add oil to coat the bottom. Cook the onion with a sprinkling of salt, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add sweet potatoes, peppers, and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add cumin and curry paste and cook over low heat for 1 minute.
Once lentils are cooked, puree for about 30 seconds in blender or food processor. Then add lentil mixture to stockpot mixture and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft. Stir in spinach and salt to taste. Laddle over Coconut Basmati Rice (recipe below).

Coconut Basmati Rice

1 cup white rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup currants
1/2 tsp turmeric

This is simple: Make rice as usual, but use water and coconut milk to boil the rice (instead of just water) and the above add-ins once the rice is simmering.

Another recipe I find quite magical because of how EASY it is to make is Copy Cat Stew a la the St. Paul Mississippi Market's very own self-proclaimed "food snob", Liz McMann.  It's quick and healthy.  I substitute almond butter for the peanut butter to make it an anti-inflammatory meal.

So, make some magic in your kitchen tonight!  You'll be glad you did.

Dr. Liz