My kids aren’t super picky, but they’re still kids—their preferences change without notice, they don’t find “it’s healthy!” to be persuasive, and when they’re not crazy about what’s for dinner, they eat until they’re “full”… and then need a snack an hour later. (Please tell me I’m not alone in this.) Feeding children is not for the faint of heart.
But my kids will reliably down an adult-sized portion of this mild curry, which always feels like such a score. And I don’t think it’s some weird glitch with my kids, either—I have witnessed my nieces and friends’ kids happily chowing down on this lentil curry (and chickpea curry, but that’s for another day). Moral of the story: curry for everyone!
Serves 6 to 8
oil to sauté
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp curry powder OR 2 tsp cumin + 2 tsp coriander + 1 tsp turmeric
2 cups dry brown or green lentils, rinsed
1 14 oz can coconut milk
2 tsp salt, or to taste
the juice of 1 or 2 limes (or 2 to 3 tbsp lime juice)
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and sauté onion until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add spices and toast for another 30 seconds, until they start to stick.
Add the lentils, can of coconut milk, and salt, along with 4.5 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 25 to 35 minutes (depending on the lentils), until lentils are tender.
When lentils are soft, add in the lime juice. I tend to find 1.5 limes is best. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Serve with brown rice, chopped greens, fresh cracked pepper, cilantro, green onion, and mango pickle, if you like.
Coconut milk can degrade a little with long cooking time. You can optionally open the can, pour in the liquid along with the lentils and water, and reserve the thick cream part to stir in at or near the end to retain all of the mouthfeel. But it’s a small difference and I know this can sometimes feel too fussy on busy/chaotic days :)
If the curry is too liquidy, let it simmer with the lid off for a few minutes. If it’s too thick, add splashes of water until it’s a good consistency.
Anything made with lentils will thicken with refrigeration. To loosen up leftovers, you may like to add a splash of water.