By admin | December 26, 2011

BY JOANNE BRUNO

There’s no better way to kick off the back to health season with a bowl of nutrient-rich brown mush.  Am I right, or am I right? Especially when this mush is also chock full of all your favorite Indian spices and flavors.

It’s really a “best of both worlds” kind of situation. Especially when our palates tell us that the world is best with lots and lots of curry in it.  And when a trip to H+M tells us that skinny jeans are (sigh) still “in” in the New Year.

Pass the bowl?  I thought so.

Lentil, Potato and Pumpkin Curry Recipe

Serves 6, adapted from The Spiced Life

Ingredients:
2 cups lentils, rinsed (I used a mix of green and black belugas)
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tbsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 medium-large onions, chopped
2 tbsp minced ginger
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
salt and pepper to taste
4 fist-sized potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1 14-oz canned chopped tomatoes
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Method:

  1. Place the lentils, bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoons of turmeric and paprika, and the water into a large pot. Bring to a boil and skim the foam from the top. Reduce to heat and maintain a simmer while covered.  Cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  2. While the lentils cook, begin the rest of the filling. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil and mustard seeds. They will pop; when their popping slows, add the cumin seeds. Roast briefly, 10-15 seconds. Add the onions with a sprinkle of salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browning, abut 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Then add the rest of the spices and toss to coat the onions evenly. Do not let the spices burn (at any point during this process you can always add some water if the onion mix starts to scorch or stick too much).
  3. Add this onion mix to the lentils and add the potatoes as well. Simmer for 20-30 more minutes, while you work on the sauce.
  4. Combine the pumpkin, tomatoes and maple syrup in a food processor or blender and puree. Add the stock to help move the mixture-it will all go in the lentils together. When the potatoes are just barely tender, pour the pumpkin-tomato blend gently into the lentils mix. Heat the whole thing through and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes so that flavors will meld.  Adjust salt and heat to taste by adding either hot sauce or cayenne pepper.

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and third year MD/PhD student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others. 

Photos: Joanne Bruno

For more of Joanne’s recipes, follow me on Twitter (@Marcus Cooks)

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