I was determined, and I mean determined, to replicate the Balinese vegetable curry that I had in Japan. The only problem was that I had little idea what the ingredients were. All I knew is that it contained coconut, vegetables (obviously), and loads of fat-filled cream. I didn’t have cream or too many vegetables yesterday, but I set out to replicate anyway. Talk about setting myself up for failure, right? But I’m pleased to report that despite having no recipe and few ingredients on hand I ended up with a very thick lentil soup that was nothing like the vegetable curry I was craving but was still pretty damn good.
Well, in my opinion anyway. Maya started laughing when I asked her if she wanted any. I believe the words “That’s crazy Mama” might have escaped her mouth. And Ali? Well I put this wonderful plate together with garnishes and everything, handed it to him, and crossed my fingers.
“Is there coconut in here?”
“Yes, a little bit. Why?”
“Well I don’t eat coconut.”
“But you did when we were on our trip.”
“Well I don’t eat it at home.”
Okay then. I’d like to think I’m a fairly smart person but even I didn’t get the logic.
“You don’t have to eat it if you don’t like it.”
“Well I can eat it. I don’t hate it or anything. If you throw some more raisins on it I can definitely tolerate it.”
So Ali “tolerated” the dinner that took me an hour to cook while I silently cursed him and Maya and swore up and down that I would stop trying to make new things. And while I try to make myself follow through with my new resolution, feel free to give this tasty (in my opinion) recipe a try.
“Tolerated” Lentil Coconut Stoup (as Rachel Ray says – thicker than a soup, thinner than a stew)
1 cup of red lentils, washed
1/2 can of coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s Light version)
1/2 can of tomato paste
1/2 a small onion, chopped
2 small potatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons of raisins
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 tablespoon of butter
cilantro and avocado (optional)
1. Add the washed lentils and chopped potatoes to a soup pot. Cover with water and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the potatoes are soft. (Add more water if the lentils dry out).
2. Meanwhile, saute the onion, carrots, and celery in the butter. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, salt, and garam masala.
3. Mix the onion/carrot/celery mixture into the soup pot, add the coconut milk, and simmer another 20 minutes.
4. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro, raisins, and avocado.
I hope you “tolerate” my concoction better than the picky people in my house. Oh and this may very well be the last recipe I have to share as I will likely be boiling pasta and opening a jar of Prego here on out.
Hopefully this news is met with sighs of disappointment from my readers, rather than relief?