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Curry Lentils with an Egg

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I found a recipe for Spiced Lentils with Eggs on theKitchn a while back. I loved the idea, but when I tried the recipe I wasn’t a fan of the garam masala taste. I add garam masala to flavor plenty of foods, but it’s not something I love as a main flavor (that’s just me – if you enjoy give the original recipe a try). I added some curry powder to my next batch and this time I did love the flavor!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 1

While my curry flavored lentils with an egg were delicious, I knew that as a meal it was really lacking in the vegetable department.  Adding an onion and some leafy greens made me feel a lot better about the vegetable content of this as a meal.  I’ve used both spinach and kale successfully – delicious either way!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 2

This meal is cooked in two steps. First, the lentils, spices, and vegetables are combined and cooked. The second step is to bake the lentil mixture, topped with an egg. You can bake the lentils in 4 or 5 ramakins right after preparing the lentil mixture on the stove or store the mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Since I eat this one serving at a time I tend to store a big container of the lentils in the refrigerator. When I’m need a lunch I scoop some into a ramakin, microwave it for 2 minutes to warm up the lentils, crack the egg on top, and then bake. I know it sounds weird to microwave something before baking it, but I’ve found that this method really works the best when using refrigerated lentils. Otherwise, the baking time ends up being much longer.

Curry Lentils with an Egg 3

This has quickly become one of my favorite lunches. The curry lentils are so good on their own, and even better with an egg. It’s something about the smoothness of the egg against the spices and slight firmness of the split peas. I find myself fishing through my eggs looking for the largest ones each time I’m making this, just so I get more to eat!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 4

Curry Lentils with an Egg

modified from The Kitchn.
See post for modifications for baking one serving at a time.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 1 c green split peas
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or a minced garlic clove)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs curry powder
  • 4 c chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 c chopped spinach or kale
  • 1/3 c chopped cilantro
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper for seasoning (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium/large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, stir, and cook a few minutes until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the lentils, split peas, broth and stir. Stir in the garam masala, garlic powder, and curry powder. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 30-45 minutes. The red lentils will cook down into a mush and the split peas will be the texture of al dente pasta.
  3. Stir in the spinach/kale and cilantro.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. Grease 4 small ramekins or glass dishes and scoop lentil mixture into each. Crack and egg on the top of the lentils, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until the egg is opaque and mostly set. Let sit for a few minutes before eating to let the egg finish cooking.

P.S. I’m going to use this recipe for my submission to this week’s Gluten Free Wednesday at Gluten Free Homemaker. Thanks to Linda for organizing the event! Check out the event; there are lots of great recipes and meal ideas there!

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“Butter” Chicken

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I love Indian food and curries. It’s saucey and spicy and there are so many different flavors and varieties.

Butter Chicken 1

Honestly, though, I have zero idea of how to authentically make Indian food. I’ve looked up recipes and done research on more than one occasion. I learned that Chicken Tikka Masala was supposedly concocted in the UK, not India (according to wikipedia, anyway). Crazy, huh?! Interestingly enough, one of my favorite restaurants to order a curry dish at is actually a British pub style place. I guess that all sort of ties in.

On the cooking side of Indian food, I’m usually disappointed when I look up recipes for my favorite Indian foods. Almost all of the curries have heavy cream, half and half, or sour cream. Those are some of my “no way” ingredients. First off, I try to avoid cooking with a ton of dairy – like, cups and cups in a single recipe. Second, I just try to avoid unnecessary fat and unnecessary processed foods. Third, is heavy cream or sour cream really the authentic way to make a curry? Like I said above, I have zero idea what makes an authentic curry dish, but for whatever reason I can’t imagine that the original version has lots of heavy cream or sour cream in it. Maybe us Americans just put that in to make the heat level manageable?

So, this is my Kristin-approved “Butter” Chicken.  Butter is in quotation marks because there is actually no butter in this recipe. I used some pretty generic ingredients for the flavor: Thai Kitchen curry paste, some curry powder, and a bit of cayenne pepper for some heat. The base is tomato paste. I thinned the sauce out a bit with coconut milk and a tablespoon of greek yogurt.

Butter Chicken 2

In the end I had this warm, bubbling, spicy red sauce. Authentic Indian food? Not even close. But, it was delicious. I sprinkled it with a bit of chopped cilantro and we ate it with fresh naan bread. You can serve this with rice, too, but the naan bread totally takes this curry to another level. After we ate probably 3/4 of the recipe (luckily, Steve and I are blessed with quick metabolisms!) we were fully, happy, and, strangely, very sleepy. I hope this dish is as enjoyed in your home as it has been in mine!

Butter Chicken 3

“Butter” Chicken

Serve this spicy dish with rice or homemade GF naan bread.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs ginger, mnced
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4c + 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 12 oz coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbs garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaping Tbs plain greek yogurt
Directions
  1. Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the chicken to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is opaque and cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in the same skillet, reducing heat the medium. When the oil is warm add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes), stirring frequently to keep the garlic from burning.
  3. Add the tomato paste and coconut milk to the pan and stir to combine. If at any point the mixture is boiling or bubbling turn the heat down to low.  Next stir in the curry pasta, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. When the mixture is combined, add the greek yogurt. If you’d like a thinner sauce than what results stir in more greek yogurt.
  4. Stir the chicken back into the pan and serve with rice and/or naan bread.
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