Last week, Heidi posted a delicious-looking chickpea and bulgur recipe that reminded me of a forgotten tub of bulgur that’s been sitting in my pantry. I had every intention of making her recipe, but I found a big bag of beautiful French lentils (how’s that for alliteration?) cozying up to the bulgur and grabbed those instead.
I should use bulgur more often. It has a low glycemic index, which helps keep energy levels from spiking and crashing and it cooks quickly — always useful. I also had a can of coconut milk, which pairs beautifully with curry. I wanted the spice of Thai food and the warming aroma of Indian food, so I used both Thai red curry paste and Maharajah-style curry powder to flavor the broth. Everything was brightened with fresh lime juice, cilantro and mint. I love how flavorful and nutritious this meal turned out, and I’m sure my husband loved that he only had to wash one pot.
Double Curry Lentils
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups French Lentils (sometimes known as Lentils de Puy), rinsed and picked over
1 1/2 cups bulgur
4 cups stock (I used chicken – veggie or beef would also be ok)
1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste*
1 15 oz. can of coconut milk (I used Lite)
2 tbsp. curry powder (I used Maharajah-style)**
salt to taste
juice of 2 limes
4 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high. Once it’s hot, toast the bulgur, then remove to a bowl. Next, heat the oil and sautee the onion until it begins to soften and turn translucent, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add the lentils, bulgur and stock and simmer for another 20 minutes. At this point, most of the liquid should have been absorbed by the bulgur and lentils. If it seems a bit watery, add another 1/4 – 1/2 cup of bulgur.
Stir in the coconut milk and curry powder and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed – you may want more of a curry punch, more salt or more spice. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Serve topped with a couple generous pinches of the chopped herbs.
*This is pretty spicy stuff. If you don’t like spicy food, Use 1 tsp. If you like it super hot, for for 1 1/2 tbsp.
**Maharajah-style curry powder is a blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, cloves, red pepper and saffron. My Indian spices are supplied by my aunt-in-law, who gets them from Penzey’s.