I love spicy Indian food. The complexity of flavors warms my heart and soul. Especially Indian curries. The sauce is rich, spicy, sweet, salty. The vegetables are filling and healthy. With grains and/or legumes, Indian curries become wonderful, hearty meals. Nothing makes you feel better than curling up on the couch next to a fire and eating an Indian curry. But have you looked outside? In this heat, there is no way that I’m going to make a hot Indian curry in my kitchen and heat the whole house up. That’s the great thing about this daal though, it has all the flavor of a great Indian lentil dish, without the intense heat from cooking.
If you don’t want to make your own curry powder, feel free to use a store bought curry powder. My favorites are Madras curry powders, but any Indian curry powder will work. Just remember- this is not the bright yellow “mild curry powder”. You won’t be disappointed if you make your own though. My starter mix is 1 part chili powder, 1/2 coriander powder, 1/2 cumin powder, 1 part garam masala, 1/2 part garlic powder. You can play with this mixture as much as you like. It’s my go-to mixture for Indian curries; however, I adjust it regularly depending on my mood. Sometimes I add tumeric, although be careful because a little bit goes a long way.
For faster cooking when I get home from work, I like to soak my lentils throughout the day in the vegetable broth. If you forget though, it will just take a bit longer for them to cook. To make spicier, add the peppers earlier. If you like extremely spicy food, do not de-seed and add chilis in the olive oil so that the chilis release more oil into the dish.
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large eggplant, salted and rinsed, then sliced and quartered
- 1 large zucchini, sliced and quartered
- 1 large serrano chili, de-seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
Heat the broth and lentils on high until the broth begins to boil. When it begins to boil, add 1 tablespoon curry powder and reduce to low and let simmer till the lentils soak up the broth.
When lentils are finished cooking, take aside let them cool while cooking the vegetables.
On medium heat, warm olive oil. When the olive oil is hot and pooling into puddles, add curry powder and mix into the olive oil. Add the zuchinni and eggplant to the pan and continue to stir while vegetables cook. It will take around 15 minutes for the vegetables to brown and become soft. Once the vegetables become soft, stir in the green chilis. Cook for a minute, and then serve.Nutrition Information (3 servings) Calories 416 Total fat 11.7g Saturated fat 1.63g Sodium 1245mg (depends on curry powder) Total Carbohydrate 56.24g
What’s your favorite spicy summer dish?