Yes, I’ve had curries at Indian, Thai, and other restaurants, but I’ve never made anything with coconut milk that tasted good—until now.
California curry with red lentils and vegetables
I call it a “California curry” to distance it from a specific world cuisine, given I combined the flavors of New Mexico chile powder, olive tapenade, and whole-fat coconut milk without a hint of curry paste. The red lentils give the rich coconut sauce a nice thickness. I served this curry over packaged precooked polenta that I sliced and broiled until crisp.
- coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- leeks, cut crosswise into rings
- potatoes, cut into 1/2-in. dice
- zucchini or other summer squash, cut into 1/2-in. dice
- cauliflower, cut in half and then into 1-in. steaks
- full-fat coconut milk
- vegetable broth
- red lentils
- chile powder, such as New Mexico and/or chipotle
- olive tapenade or pitted chopped olives
- hot sauce (optional)
- Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, potatoes, zucchini, and cauliflower. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften.
- Add coconut milk and vegetable broth to just cover vegetables (use water if needed). Bring to a simmer and stir in lentils and chile powder. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils and vegetables are soft. Add more water if needed so the sauce doesn’t get too thick.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and olive tapenade. Serve with your favorite hot sauce if you like.