I have searched and experimented for a long time to get to the perfect red lentil curry. And finally, the journey has come to an end, with this ever so slightly spicy, zingy yet creamy-smooth, gorgeously textured version of orange goodness in a bowl. I am a fan of spices – but I don’t like spicy food. This dish needs just a little bit of toasted curry and some freshly minced ginger to make it spicy enough yet not too spicy for my palette, or that of my kids. It’s got raisins in it, which plump up nicely and get super juicy during cooking, infusing the curry with their natural, fruity sweetness.
Served with wholegrain basmati rice is the way I like it, but you can eat it on its own just as well.
I always make a massive batch, planning to freeze some for later. Unfortunately, it’s so good that we all go for seconds and thirds, and I’ll have yet to freeze any of it. Oops.
200g yellow split peas
200g red split lentils
1.6 litres water
1 medium carrot, diced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
1/2 cup of raisins
2 teaspoons curry powder (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
8 spring onions, thinly sliced
80ml tomato paste
400ml coconut milk
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons fresh, chopped coriander
Rice if desired
Rinse the split peas under cold water until the water becomes clear. Bring the water to the boil in a large casserole and add the peas. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. I find split peas take an awful long time to cook, thus I precook them for 40 minutes and prepare the rest of this dish in the meantime.
Take a small pan, melt the coconut oil and add the sliced spring onions (leave some to the side for sprinkling later, if you like a little onion-y crunch), the ginger and the raisins, stirring for about two minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes. Now add the curry powder and mix well, then add all of this to the simmering split peas. Also add the red lentils, the diced carrot, the coconut milk and the salt.
Cook for another 20 minutes, add more water if needed or let it simmer without a lid if you like a thicker texture.
Serve with rice or on its own.