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Lessons in Curry

A couple of months back, Linsday from Pinch of Yum posted about her favourite lentil recipes, which were all curry (or curry-esque) recipes. We love curry and lentils, so we thought that we would give one of her recipes a try. The problem is, we couldn’t decide which of the 6 recipes we wanted to make, so naturally, we made them all!

Every Monday for 6 weeks we made one of her lentil recipes when we got home from practice, a day we dubbed to be “Curry Monday”. Of course, eventually we had made them all, so what were we to do?

Make our own curry, obviously!

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We’ve made curry plenty of times before, and they we always good, but we found that there was something missing… they didn’t send us to our foodie happy place, nothing so special that we would write down the recipe so we could make it again. Until now!

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So what was it that we did differently? Well, there were a  few things, each that made a big difference:

1. Curry Paste – we currently have a jar of yellow (though it looks red to us!) curry paste, and we’re telling you this stuff is curry-making magic! It may seem expensive, but all you need is a small amount to really take your curry to a new level.

2. We added less spices. I know it seems weird – less spices to a curry dish? But they are supposed to be super-duper spice-filled! We know, that’s what we thought too, but the thing is, curry spices are very strong, and so if you add too many, you just end up with a slightly bitter bowl of curry. Yuck!

3. Added the spices sooner. In the past, we’ve always added the spices much later in the cooking process for fear of the spices losing their flavour. However, while that may be the case with more delicate herbs, not so much with these spices! This time, we added them right off the bat when we were cooking the onions. Cooking or “toasting” your curry spices doesn’t cook off flavour, but more the bitter compounds and flavours that these spices have in their raw state.

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This particular curry also has a special ingredient, one we don’t normally have in the fridge but just happened to be on sale this week.

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Mangoes! 🙂

We don’t know if it’s mango season somewhere, but if it is,  we are very glad it is.

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A full-flavoured, sweet potato and lentil curry with hints of sweetness from the chunks of mango: Dinner time done right!

Sweet Potato and Mango Lentil Curry

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Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 30min
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

1/2 c. green lentils
1 c. water

1 c. sweet potato, cubed

1/2 tbsp coconut (or olive) oil
1/2 c. white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
1/2 28oz can of No Salt Added diced tomatoes
1/2 mango, chopped
1 c. spinach
1/3 c. coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp EACH curry powder, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg
1/2 tbsp yellow curry paste (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Put lentils and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25min.
Cook sweet potato in the microwave until soft, about 5 min.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add onions, garam masala, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg and curry paste, and cook until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and peppers and cook for another 2-3min. Stir in tomatoes, mango, cooked sweet potato and spinach  and cook for another 2-3min, until spinach has wilted.
Turn off the heat and stir in coconut milk and cooked lentils and mix until fully combined.
Add salt and pepper and serve over rice of your choice.

~twosaucysisters

Does anyone else have any tips or tricks for when they make curry?

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Hummus Hiatus

It has been 33 days since we last posted a hummus recipe.  33 days!  We think that’s a record for us!  Some of you were probably starting to wonder if we were okay!

Well, you needn’t worry yourselves- we are just fine, and we’ve been eating plenty of hummus (we’ve just been going back to the basics lately- now there’s a throw-back for ya!)

But in case you were all starting to feel hummus-deprived, we are back after our hummus hiatus with another delicious rendition of our favourite dip the best food ever.

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This time around we looked Eastward for some inspiration and made a Curried Hummus!  We suppose that makes it more middle-eastward, but we won’t get too picky about details.

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But seriously, our hats go off to the people of the Middle East!  Boy do they know how to cook!  We don’t even know if they have a word for “bland” in their language, because they probably never use it- everything they make has a positively magical blend of spices that makes every single one of their dishes burst with flavour!

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And that is precisely what we were going for with this hummus- bold and spicy with enough flavour to send your taste buds into over-drive.

And you know what?

We think we nailed it 🙂

Curried Hummus

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Total Time: 10 min
Makes: approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor or a high-powered blender and process until smooth.  Add up to 1/4 cup extra water if it is too thick.  (Tip- this hummus tastes even better the next day, so if you’re making it for a party, we recommend putting it together the day before)

~twosaucysisters

Do you like Middle-Eastern cuisine?