Over the last week my little sister has had a work week project at her school. She chooses a place she wants to work and has to work there for the whole week. She chose working at a kindergarten (sounds exhausting if you ask me), and to fuel her through her new 9 to 5 schedule she asked me to make additional dinner for those days. That way she can bring the left-overs with her to work, and it will give her enough energy to last through the day. The Potato Gratin was one of the dishes she has brought to work, and yesterday she asked me to make Vegan Lentil Tikka Masala (her all-time favorite Indian dish). Now, I already have a recipe for a Tikka Masala Coconut Curry that is very delicious. However it is very high in soy, and is therefore not suitable for those with a soy-allergy. I was planning on making this according to the previously mentioned recipe, but we were all out of TVP chunks. That called for a bit of improvisation, and when I was looking through the cupboards I figured that lentils would work perfectly.
When cooked, lentils absorb flavoring extremely well and the texture of it is just brilliant. I used that as a starting point, and from there I just threw in all the usual ingredients for tikka masala. Lo and behold, it turned out perfect! Keep in mind that with all Indian food, it is vital that you taste while adding in the spices. One teaspoon too much of something can make the dish far spicier than you can handle!
The first time I made this, I served it next to Vegan Indian Cucumber & Mint Raita and homemade Naan Bread. It was the perfect way to balance out the hot seasoning of the curry and it was very well-received by all members of my family.
Lentil Tikka Masala Curry Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cup dry lentils (green, brown or red will do)
- 2 cups vegan vegetable broth
- 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-4 tbsp vegan tikka masala curry paste
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- juice from 1/2 lemon
Spices, to taste:
- ground ginger
- ground cumin
- cayenne pepper / hot chili powder
- high-quality curry powder
- Brown/white rice
- Lemon juice
- Fresh cilantro
Lentil Tikka Masala Curry Directions:
- Heat up a large pot before adding in the onion and garlic. Cook this whilst stirring for a few minutes, or until they have turned a light brown. Pour in all the remaining ingredients, except for the spices and lemon juice, and bring this to a boil. Proceed to adding in 1 tsp of each of the spices. The lentils need about 25-50 minutes to become really tender and well-cooked, so cover the pot with a lid, bring the curry to a simmer and keep checking in on it every 15 minutes or so.
- When the lentils are completely cooked, start adding in more of the spices. The reason behind adding in a bit of the various seasoning at first was to allow it to really marinate with the sauce, but we do not want to make it too spicy all at once. Now is the time to fine-tune the seasoning, and keep adding in more until you are satisfied with the taste. Then finish it off with the lemon juice. Serve warm and enjoy!
If you have any left-overs, store it in the fridge once it has cooled. When heating this up again you will most likely need to add a bit more water, but this will not affect the taste whatsoever. In fact, I love eating bean/legume dishes the day after it has been made! Something about the texture becomes even better and extra mushy and just…yummmm.
Ok, I am going to stop there. Enjoy!