Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Curry

I’m on a mission to simplify food. From what I’ve been reading recently there are many vegans out there struggling to feed themselves either because of time constraints and/or their confidence in the kitchen. I realise that I probably have more time than most to cook up a storm and I tend to forget that most people’s lives do not revolve around food the way mine does. So, I’m endeavoring to post some super easy recipes that can be made in batches, freeze well and are sure to please any hungry person, veggie, vegan or otherwise.

Curries are absolutely the go to meal for many vegans because there’s no adapting to do. It also makes eating out less of a pain because you can be rest assured there’ll be plenty of veg on the menu at your local Indian. This isn’t an Indian curry mind you, it is of the Thai variety, which has that gorgeous freshness permeating throughout it and being a new vegan myself I am a tad obsessed with coconut milk – what utterly wonderful stuff it is!

I am convinced that this curry is stress free and will be ideal for even the most reluctant of cooks. It is packed full of flavour and has a glorious richness that is sure to leave you feeling truly satisfied. Whilst it’s certainly not unhealthy the coconut milk does have quite a high fat content, so I would only make a dish like this once a week – be warned though, it is very moreish indeed! I would urge you not to substitute the coconut milk with the half fat kind because the watery consistency detracts considerably from the desired creaminess.

For me this is the ultimate in comfort food and is a must try for omnivores too – make it your meat free Monday meal and you’re sure to love it as much as any Chicken Korma or Prawn Saag. We’re cheating a little here with the ready made red curry paste but if there are great products available I see no reason not to incorporate them into your recipes. Saving time in the kitchen is important but cutting corners is not. These pastes might not be made with your own fair hands but they’re the next best thing and in my opinion are a store cupboard (or fridge when it’s been opened) essential.

http://www.meatfreemondays.co.uk/

ingredients:

1 cup red lentils

1 butternut squash

1 can full fat coconut milk

1 onion

2/3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp thai red curry paste

salt and pepper

to serve:

rice noodles

handful freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)

Rinse the red lentils, transfer to a small pot and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then return to a simmer for 20mins.

Cut the squash into large chunks. I like to cut it in half first, lie it on a flat end and cut the skin off this way. Otherwise leave the skin on.

Finely dice the onion and then in a large pot fry in a little oil on a medium heat for several minutes. Season and add crushed garlic to the pan. Fry gently for a further 5mins.

Add the butternut squash to the pot, stir thoroughly, cover and leave to soften for a few minutes.

Drain the lentils – no need to rinse. Add to pot, stir in thai curry paste and half of the coconut milk. Stir thoroughly, cover and leave to simmer for  a few minutes. Add the rest of the coconut milk, season, cover and simmer for 20mins until the squash is beautifully soft. Ensure not to overcook as the squash will lose its texture.

While the curry is cooking boil a kettle. Empty rice noodles into a wide bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak for 5-10 minutes. When the curry is ready drain the noodles and serve with some freshly chopped coriander.

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