This is our current meat-free Monday favourite. It’s based on a recipe from Half-baked Harvest but, as I’ve said before, as much as I love the site, the ads on it do my head in and I can literally watch the power on my laptop drain before my eyes.
Rant over, this is a great curry made even better by a great curry paste. We use Life’s Good curry pastes which are made locally here on the Sunshine Coast. They’re as close to making your own as it’s possible to get and taste amazing. Plus we get to chat with Alice every Saturday morning at the market. (As an aside, if you’re vegan most of their pastes are available in an all plant version…and no, they’re not paying me to say this.) The curry you get isn’t scary red but is a deeper colour than in the very bad photos I’ve taken.
Anyways, back to the curry. It’s loaded with the good stuff and is remarkably filling. This quantity feeds the 3 of us easily and there’s always enough left for a couple of lunches during the week.
Also, the original recipe calls for spiced chickpeas which I tried once. Now I can’t be faffed and just toss the can of chickpeas into the curry. Job done.
The ingredients list looks long but you’re really only chopping sweet potatoes and onions and opening cans and jars so it’s actually quite quick to prepare.
What you need
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (rice bran or canola oil is fine)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- A decent chunk of ginger, say about half a thumb size, grated
- 2 sweet potatoes (or 1 large one, depending on the size) peeled and cubed
- 3-4 tablespoons of a good Thai red curry paste – perhaps more if you like it spicy
- 3-4 cups of water (start with 3 and you can always add an extra in need)
- ¾ cup dried red lentils
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter (it also works well with macadamia paste)
- 1 x 400ml can coconut milk (the full-fat one)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- juice from 1 lime
- coriander to serve (optional)
- Basmati rice to serve
- a couple of teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
- Chilli oil to serve if you like that extra hit of spice (which we do)
- a teaspoon of sambal (optional, but really lifts it)
What you do with it
- Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook for a few minutes until softened and then tip in the ginger and sweet potatoes. Cook for another couple of minutes before adding the curry paste. Stir it all about and cook for a minute or so.
- Add the water ( start with 3 cups), the lentils, fish sauce, soy sauce. peanut butter and chickpeas. Turn the heat up and bring it to a boil, then reduce it to low, pop the lid on, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft and the sweet potatoes cooked. If you need it, add a little extra water.
- Stir in the coconut milk, spinach and lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust with fish sauce in need, and cook for 5 minutes. If you’re using it, stir in the sambal now.
- If you’re not on the I Hate Coriander bandwagon, garnish with coriander and serve with basmati rice. If you want you can scatter across some sesame seeds too (as in the main pic) but really that doesn’t add anything.