Many of Madhur Jaffrey's books have an Indian slant, but she's most famous for her 1999 tome Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. While she often follows the Indian tradition of serving several small dishes together, the lentil-vegetable curry here is a Western-style main course. Eaten over rice with yogurt, it's a very satisfying meal.
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1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1 1/4 cups dried green lentils
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 ounces green beans, cut into 3/4-inch lengths
4 ounces kale, stemmed and leaves finely chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
How to Make It
In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, coriander and ground cumin. Stir in 1/4 cup of water to make a paste. In a small skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderately high heat for 5 seconds, just until sizzling. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the spice paste and let cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until thick, about 1 minute longer.
In a saucepan, combine the lentils with the turmeric and 5 cups of water; bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are barely tender. Add the green beans, kale, carrot, three-fourths of the cilantro and the cayenne and season with salt. Cook until the lentils and vegetables are tender, 15 minutes. Scrape in the spice paste and the remaining cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve.
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