Sunday, April 1, 2012

Curried Red Dal

Culinarily, I think this time of year is beyond boring. It’s too early for the farmer’s market. It’s too late to make wintery things.

This year I’m working on cooking up the odds and ends of stuff that turns up in the back of the freezer, forgotten in the cupboard, or lolling around on a pantry shelf. This dish knocked out three freezer things and two cupboard things! Plus it was tasty and interesting to eat.

Curried Red Dal
2 c red lentils
2 qt water or stock (I used one of each)
2 T red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 bucketful of fresh spinach or a block of frozen spinach
Salt to taste
Cooked rice

Rinse the lentils and pop them in a pot with the stock or water. Bring to a simmer and cook them 15-20 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, the coconut milk, and the kaffir lime leaves. Cook another 15-20 minutes or until everything is tender.

Meanwhile, I hope you have already started the rice.

While all that is happening, cook the spinach in as little water as possible. Steaming it works great. Drain it in a colander, squeezing it against the sides to make the spinach as dry as possible.

When the lentils are tender, stir in the spinach and season to taste. Serve over rice.

Easy and fun! And soon there will be REAL spinach: market spinach, CSA spinach, homegrown spinach that lives in the same zip code as me! I can’t wait.