March 12, 2012

Tofu & Lentils with Curry & Coconut sauce

Hi there, been quite some time since I updated this blog. If you're new, please read my welcome note first, which basically says- every time you try out one of my recipes you are to feed one (or more) hungry person. I leave it to you how you wish to do that, either cook for them, buy them food or give them money for a meal.

Today's recipe is a vegetarian one which I prepared for dinner. As it was simmering, I was perusing some  articles and by "coincidence", I stumbled upon  a new medical study that has just been published linking the regular consumption of red meat to cancer and heart disease. So all the more reason to go at least partially vegetarian.

Now I know some of you would love to ban Tofu, in particular men. They hate Tofu. But Tofu does not need to be like rubber, you can prepare it in such a way that it could taste as good as meat.

For those who are absolutely anti-Tofu, you can skip the Tofu part and stick to the lentils.

So let's get started. Preparation time is 15mn - cooking time is about 50mn or so.

For 2 you will need :

- 100 grams of Green Lentils (rinse and soak them in cold water for at least 15mn, they will cook faster)
- 1 medium size onion
- 1 large carrot
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of curry (I use hot Madras, you can go for mild if you can't take spicy)
- 1 tsp of Sambal Oelek (Thai pimento sauce found in any Asian shop. Otherwise use Harissa, which is North African pimento sauce. Short of that use Red Tabasco, but it's not as nice and short of that just use ground red Chili)
- 1/2 tsp of Turmeric
- 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger (otherwise use powder)
- 1 cube of vegetable stock
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 5 branches of cilantro leaves chopped
- 3 cups of water
- 1 tbs of cooking oil.
- 2 cups of coconut milk

For the Tofu if you do decide to eat Tofu. You will need :

- 200 grams of Tofu cut like pieces of mini steaks and fairly thick. (so not in chunks)
- 1 tbs of cooking oil
- 1 tsp of mixed dried herbs like Herbes de Provence.


- peel, wash carrot and dice it (the smaller the quicker it cooks)
- wash celery and cut in small pieces
- finely chop onion
- crush garlic and mince cilantro leaves.
- grate ginger

- In a non stick saucepan, heat oil, then stir fry the onions, garlic, cilantro and ginger for 1 minute
- Add drained lentils and stir for about 2 mn
- Now add your spices i.e cumin, sambal oelek, curry, turmeric and stir for another 1mn
- Add your water in which you have diluted the vegetable cube. Mix well
- Let it boil a few minutes, cover, lower heat and leave it to cook well for about 40 mn. Stirring it occasionally and make sure it does not dry out completely, hence necessity of lowering heat.


- marinate pieces of Tofu in oil and mixed herbs and leave on side.

After 40mn your lentils and vegetables should be cooked by then. Add your coconut milk and some salt to taste , stir it and leave it to cook for another 10 mn uncovered until liquid is absorbed - keep it on medium to low heat.

While the lentils in coconut milk are simmering -  in a non stick frying pan, fry your marinated Tofu, until golden. Tofu cooks very quickly.

Serve lentils hot and put the Tofu on top, decorate with some Cilantro or Parsley and a squeeze of FRESH Lemon Juice.

Bon appétit.