While this meal was planned for weeks ago, our ban on spicy foods (i.e. the flu) kept this meal from being made until recently. I double the recipe to have those always welcome leftovers, and this is what we ended up with.
The yogurt raita was, as always, a sour, tangy addition that adds so much to the dish, and made it the perfect Monday evening meal.
1 c plain yogurt
1/4 c packed cilantro leaves
2 tsp canola oil (we use whatever oil we want)
3 c coarsely chopped onion
2 c coarsely chopped red bell pepper
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 Tb curry powder
5 1/4 c organic broth (recipe calls for veggie, but we usually use chicken since we have it on hand)
1 (14.5 ounce can) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 lb dried small red lentils
1 Tb finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
Cilantro sprigs (optional)
1. Combine yogurt and cilantro using an immersion blender (or in a food processor). We usually mix in chopped cucumber and red onion, as well as lime juice, coriander, and cumin. Cover sauce and refrigerate.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan (we use dutch oven) over medium eat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and saute 8 minutes, until tender. Add curry powder and cook on minute, stirring constantly. Add broth and tomatoes to pan and bring to a boil. Stir in lentils. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are very soft. Stir in ginger.
3. Using an immersion blender in pan, coarsely puree lentil mixture. Stir in ground red pepper. Ladle 1 cup lentil mixture into each of 8 individual soup bowls, and top each with yogurt sauce. Garnish with cilantro.
This is great for freezing extras!