Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Betsys Lentil and Couscous Curry

Recipe #106: http://vegweb.com/recipes/betsys-lentil-and-couscous-curry

I seem to be on a bit (ok, a lot) of a lentil kick lately. I have no idea why - I never really thought much about lentils before, but now that I've discovered them, I keep eating them. Maybe it's the red colour... cheap and cheerful?

I don't actually know Betsy, the author of this recipe. I just happened to find it on a random search for a way to use up some of my stock of staples, both in the interest of not wasting food and also preparing to move in the (hopefully!) very near future. I was going to bring the results of this recipe attempt to a birthday party on the weekend (I figured it would meet with approval from my vegetarian friends there), but I ran out of time that day. In retrospect, it's probably a good thing as I wasn't sure how this would turn out. 

I adjusted a few things when I made my version tonight. I used an entire small onion, 1 orange pepper, 2 stalks celery, 1 bunch broccoli including stem, 1 small zucchini, 1 regular-sized carrot, and some low sodium organic vegetable broth (2 cups total) that I found at the store. [Word of advice: if you make a cup of mint tea, don't put it next to the vegetable broth. They look identical at a glance.] I also added 2 tsp of curry powder, 2 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. I think I simmered the vegetables with lentils for about 35 minutes as they weren't yet cooked after the suggested 20 min. Oh, and to change things up a little, I weighed the couscous to the 250g called for. For the record, that equals more than 1 cup. I think I'll go back to a 1:1 ratio next time.

Well, the end result is tasty, filling and healthy. I did make an effort to up the spices as I knew that adding bland couscous would take the flavour down a notch. I think I could ramp the spices up even more next time, but there is a nice little trail of fire that lingers after a mouthful - not bad for someone who almost never improvs recipes, IMO. My next cooking goal is to get a better idea of how many servings a recipe will make when it doesn't outright tell you. The finished version of this one appears to feed 25+ people.... I may hate couscous and lentils in another week or so.

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