Curry has many meanings, but my fave definition, “sauce”, was shared by a cookbook writer years ago. He also offered a strategy for a quick lentil curry that at least two of us love. My daughter and I have eaten this dish straight from the pan, and although I’m not sure I adhere to all of the cultural particulars, this is the basic outline. Fast, vegan, dairy and gluten free. Feel free to vary by taste. When the lentils are cooked, it takes less than 30 minutes.
1 dry cup green lentils, cooked according to package instructions
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chapped
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped (don’t touch your eyes)
Two handfuls cherry tomatoes, any color, halved
1/2 cup of broth or water
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander (if you have it, I didn’t)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 pinches cayenne
1/2 a lime
Heat a tablespoon or two of oil over medium heat. Cook onion for 8-10 minutes until soft. Add garlic, jalapeño and spices with half the salt at first. Cook for a couple of minutes to get the spices going. Add as many tomatoes as you like for a few minutes, stirring on occasion. The skins may wrinkle, 2-3 minutes. Combine the lentils and give it a good whirl to combine everything.
If anything sticks at any time, lower heat. Add enough liquid to make some sauce but not a lentil drink. Lower heat and simmer a few minutes.
Give it a taste, adjust spices. Stir in cilantro and squeeze the lime before servicing.