I’m not really sure what the difference is between a curry and a soup, but this dish – built on red lentils and potatoes, with bright Thai curry paste and tangy non-dairy yogurt — falls into that grey area. It would be just as good on a plate with rice as it would by itself in a bowl.
Technically, curry doesn’t even exist. In India, the word curry apparently just refers to a gravy or sauce. How do I know this? Why, from the unofficial website (notacurry.com) dedicated to striking down the flow of misinformation around Indian cuisine! “Curry is a misnomer that trivializes the complex and heterogeneous characteristics of Indian cooking and overlooks the Indian subcontinent’s highly diverse culinary landscape.”
…So whatever you want to call it, this dish actually draws influence from lots of different regions. The red lentils and potatoes are very Indian, but I’m using bright Thai red curry paste as well as non-dairy yogurt (which is a first for this blog) to create layers of flavor in this super-easy, creamy, spicy dish.
Makes: 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2-3 stalks celery
- 2 small carrots
- 3 medium-size red potatoes
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 red chili
- 1 cup red lentils
- 3+ cups vegetable broth
- 8-10 oz non-dairy (coconut or soy) yogurt
- 3 limes
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Jasmine rice, for serving
* I use the Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste, which is widely available in the states and is vegan, but I’ve heard that the European version has fish sauce, so be sure to double check.
Mince the mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot) and add to a large stockpot with a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Allow the veggies to soften for about 5 minutes, then add in all of the curry paste, the coriander, and the potatoes (cut into small chunks) and all/some of the red chili (minced) depending on how spicy you want it. Stir well to incorporate the curry paste and give another 5 minutes to simmer.
Rinse and sort the lentils, then add them into the pot along with 3 cups of veggie broth (for now, more may be needed later). Bring to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for at least 30 more minutes until the potatoes are soft and fully cooked – stirring occasionally. Feel free to add more salt, spices, curry paste, or vegetable broth, if needed.
If serving with rice, begin preparing that now as well.
When the potatoes are soft, remove from the heat and stir in the juice of 1-2 limes and about 6 oz of coconut milk yoghurt. Ladle into bowls, alongside the rice (if using) and top with chopped cilantro and a dollop of the remaining coconut milk yogurt.