COCONUT CURRY LENTILS



As I look back on my life, I would have never guessed that one day I would love to cook! I learned to cook as a newlywed because I had to. As time passed I perfected the dishes I tried and really began to enjoy cooking. It wasn't just a chore or an obligation, it became another form of creativity.

I really enjoy everything that goes into cooking, from planning and preparation, to creating the final product and enjoying the fruits of your labor. Another important element of cooking, for me, is presentation. It's important that my food not only taste good but look good too.

My husband learned that important lesson one day when I made his mother's Coconut Bread Pudding, I set it to cool to later cut into perfect serving size squares. When my husband arrived, he saw the bread pudding and grabbed a butter knife and gouged a hole smack dab in the middle. I got so mad at him! When I calmed down, I explained that while to him it was just bread pudding, to me it was art waiting to be displayed.

Just as an artist takes a blank canvas and through hard work creates a masterpiece, likewise food is just a bunch of ingredients which undergo preparation and the finished product is a masterpiece ready for your palate to enjoy. When done right, cooking is truly an art.


Today I have a delicious recipe for coconut curry lentils.  When I lived in Louisville, my friend Harmony, introduced me to Indian food and I fell in love.  I love food rich in flavor and these lentils are full of it.

The first time I tried it, my husband and boys weren't excited about having Lentils for dinner, but once I served them, it was a different story.  They all loved the soup.  It's a great hearty meal and it doesn't take much prep time.  This wonderfully delicious dish goes well with Naan bread or even a side of Basmati rice.



I hope you guys give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do! Share your thoughts below.


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots diced
1 celery rib diced
2 pressed cloves garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound dried lentils
5 cups vegetable stock
3 cups of water
1 can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


Preparation:

Add the coconut oil into a large pot over medium-high heat, Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, until slightly tender. Next, add in the garlic, salt, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika and black pepper, and combine. Then add in the lentils and stir,  and finally add the vegetable stock and water. Cover the soup and allow it to gently simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the lentils are tender and soup is slightly thickened, turn off the heat and add the can of coconut milk and mix well. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

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