30-Minute Vegetable Curry with Quinoa & Red Lentils
VEGAN | WFPB | EASY | GLUTEN-FREE | OIL-FREE | 30 MINUTES OR LESS
This dish began with the desire to load lots of veggies into a dish while building in layers of flavor and keeping the process quick and easy for busy nights, something that could be thrown together after a long day of work yet seem like it took hours.
We have cauliflower, cabbage, and yellow potatoes, which are delectable in a curry, becoming tender and soaking up all those yummy flavors. Kale brings another layer of color and texture. The curry, garam masala, ginger, turmeric, and coconut milk bring a richness and flavor depth to the dish. Top with jalapeno, cilantro, and lime and your tastebuds will thank you.
The whole thing can be made in about a half hour, and that includes cooking the grain and lentils. That's why I love both quinoa and red lentils - they cook quickly compared to most grains and legumes, and for about the same length of time so can cook together. Quinoa is usually fluffy; the lentils make the combination creamy. I like to either pour the curry over a mound of the quinoa and lentils or stir them into the curry.
Curry and garam masala powders are easy to find in most grocery stores, especially if there's a bulk section of spices. I love seasoning quinoa with curry powder. I often use it to flavor a large batch that I keep in the fridge for busy days when I need something quick. I throw it in a salad or quick-sautee some favorite veggies to put alongside. The garam masala brings full-bodied flavor to the curry, making each bite a pleasure. Someday I'd like to study traditional Indian cooking and the history of these beautiful spice mixes. I'd like to try making my own from scratch. The store-bought spice blends may not be as flavorful as homemade, but they do help get dinner on the table quickly.
30-MINUTE VEGETABLE CURRY WITH QUINOA & RED LENTILS Recipe
VEGAN | WFPB | EASY | GLUTEN-FREE | OIL-FREE* | 30 MINUTES OR LESS
YIELD: 4 servings (doubling the recipe for leftovers is highly recommended!)
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
RECIPE CATEGORY: Dinner, Main Dish
PRIMARY TOOLS: Chef's knife and cutting board, two large pots, stove
COOKING METHOD: Saute and simmer
- 1 cup dry red lentils
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water + 1/2 cup water
- 1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 onion, cut in half top to bottom and sliced into half moons
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup yellow potato (Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold), chopped into about 1/2" dice
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala + 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric + (optional) 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder + (optional) 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 can coconut milk, light or regular
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Garnishes: Cilantro, diced jalapeno, crushed red pepper, lime wedges
1. PREP VEGGIES AS DESCRIBED: Take about 10 minutes to prep ingredients as described so they are ready to go. In a hurry but not done in 10 minutes? Finish as you go.
2. LENTILS & QUINOA: Rinse the lentils and quinoa in a colander, place in a pot over medium heat and stir to toast for about 5 minutes. Stir the curry powder in, then add the broth and 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover partially, and bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
3. VEGETABLES: While the quinoa-lentil mixture is coming to a boil, heat a large, deep pan over medium heat. Once hot, reduce to medium-low and add the onion, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir one minute. Add the cauliflower, cabbage, and potato and stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the teaspoon of garam masala and turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder.
4. SAUCE: Add the coconut milk and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes, checking the potatoes with a fork to make sure they are cooked through.
5. ADDITIONAL SEASONING: Add the last 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala and salt. Taste, and if desired add the extra 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and ginger powder.
6. KALE: Turn off the heat and stir in the kale until wilted, about one minute.
7. GARNISH and serve. Enjoy!
Note: Cooking times are approximate and will depend on various factors, like your personal kitchen speed and how many hands you have working in the kitchen. Cooking can become a zen experience. Enjoy the ride!
*Oil-free indicates there are no oils used in the recipe; however, fats can still exist in ingredients, such as the fat in coconut milk.