Red Curry Lentils with Pumpkin

Lentils just don’t get the respect they deserve. Relegated to the same shelf as dried beans (cue Sweet Brown, if you please) in the grocery store (which is usually a bottom shelf), lentils blend in with boring colors (brown. orange-brown. yellow-brown) and unthrilling packaging. 

Speaking of unthrilling, get a load of this dog of mine visibly pouting while I was working on this post. This blog is painfully boring to him. I can’t imagine where he learned to mope like that. 

Back to the lentils: they really should be celebrated. They may be small and lacking a name as cute as “chickpea,” but they’re a mighty member of the legume family with tons of fiber and nutrients. 

However, if you’ve read this blog before, you know that I can’t keep a straight face and say that I only eat healthy ingredients. Health second, butter first. That motto’s gotten me this far in life (cue Drake, then). 

The honest-to-goodness reason that I love lentils is that they just soak up whatever flavor you throw at them. They become the spices. It’s all very transcendental. 

This is a crock pot recipe that Husband really enjoyed. I will note, though, that his poor taste buds have been so confused by me and all the weird flavors that I throw at him that he thought it was chili and had his with cheddar cheese and saltines. Extremely A bit weird, but whatever – he ate curry, lentils, and other such hippie foods, and didn’t quote Ron Swanson one! 

I also added chicken to ours, but know that it isn’t a crucial part of the ingredients, all you vegan and vegetarian friends out there. 

Red Curry Lentils with Pumpkin

You will need:

  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 cube boullion and 2 cups water, or 2 cups stock of choice (recommend chicken or vegetable)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • 2 tbsp. red curry paste
  • 1/3 cup garam masala (orange-yellowish curry powder)
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Optional: ~ 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen is fine)
  • Optional: to serve: 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1 sliced avocado
  • Rinse lentils and drain, then pour into crock pot. 
  • Pour in all ingredients and stir it up a bit. 
  • Set slow cooker to low heat and cook for ~6 hours, or cook on high heat for ~4 hours. 
  • Check during the cooking process at least once to see if you need to add more water/stock. 
  • When the chicken is cooked, shred it with a fork and mix it in with the curry. 
  • Serve hot, topped with cilantro and avocado (a la Sparkle), or with cheddar cheese and saltines (say whaaat, Husband?!).

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