Easy curry in less than 45 minutes. Bright flavors of lemon and curry spice with satisfying potatoes and lentils. Perfect for a family dinner.
Take a look. Right now: what do you have in your pantry? Could you make a meal from it?
That was The Recipe ReDux challenge this month:
Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new.
Rummaging through my pantry, here’s what I found:
- 2 Sweet potatoes getting a bit shriveled
- Potatoes. I always have potatoes. Do you know how many dinners you can make from potatoes?
- Curry powder. Several varieties from not-so-spicy to hot. It’s my favorite spice (Thus my handle @TspCurry!)
- Mustard seeds. Which I’ve been wanting to toast – after hearing about how FUN it is when they pop in a hot skillet, on a recent podcast of Milk Street Radio
- Lentils – They cook in only 20 minutes, and require no pre-soak.
Now, I live in the country, surrounded by corn and soybean fields, so you’d think that take-out isn’t much of a temptation for me. Wrong. Thanks to my close proximity to a major highway, there’s a Subway and an amazing little Italian restaurant only 3 miles away.
So, here’s my pantry list to make quicker-and-healthier-than-takeout-meals:
- Canned beans
- Dried beans – for when you remember to soak overnight
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned fruit. Because sometimes we’re out of fresh. Or the kids are sick of the apples, oranges, bananas we’ve been eating all winter
- Canned tuna and canned chicken. Here’s how to find a healthy can of canned chicken.
- Low-sodium chicken broth and/or wine
- Instant brown rice
- Cabbage. We put it in dishes all winter long for crunch
From the above lists, we make an infinite number of dishes, using these basic steps:
- In a large skillet, cook onions in oil for a few minutes.
- Add spices to soften/toast: basil and oregano for Mediterranean flavors. Mint and fennel for Greek. Caraway and dill seed for Scandanavian. Set aside.
- Cook pasta, rice and/or potatoes. Combine with spices and onion in skillet.
- Add canned tuna, chicken, beans and/or cooked lentils. Heat to warm, add 1/4 cup wine or chicken broth or potato/pasta-cooking-water if dish seems dry.
- Top with crunchy (or sauteed) cabbage and/or frozen (cooked) veggies.
- Hello dinner! Make a big pot. Everyone in your family will love at lease some part of this wonder dinner. On the table in less than 45 minutes: Quick Potato Curry with Lentils via @TspCurry #TheRecipeReDux Click To Tweet
Quick Potato Curry with Lentils
Easy curry that goes together in less than 45 minutes. Bright flavors of curry, lemon with satisfying potatoes and lentils. Perfect for a family dinner.
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1/2 cup dry lentils
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled in strips to retain half the peel (for extra fiber and nutty taste!)
- 2 white potatoes, peeled in strips (see photo below)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or lemon juice
- Optional: fresh parsley or cilantro
- Combine lentils and broth in a pot, bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low, simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. CHECK 5 MINUTES BEFORE DONE to make sure enough liquid remains to prevent burning lentils before they are tender.
- Dice all potatoes in 1/2-inch dice. Add to a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- In a large saute pan or cast iron skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion about 4 minutes. Push onions to outer edges of skillet. Add mustard seed and cover skillet with a lid or oil screen or baking tray to prevent mustard seeds from popping out of the pan! Cook 1-2 minutes to toast seeds. Add curry powder and cook 1 minute stirring to toast, add wine or lemon juice and cook 1 minute. Turn off heat.
- When potatoes and lentils are done, add lentils including any cooking liquid, to onions and curry in skillet. Drain potatoes, preserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Add potatoes to skillet and a little cooking liquid if it dish seems dry. Heat until warm, stirring.
- Top with parsley or cilantro if desired.
Can you make a meal by using what’s in your pantry? What’s your go-to, quick-fix dinner?