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Curried Lentils Bring The Heat And The Sweet

Lentils can get pretty boring after a while. This curried preparation gives them a little heat and a little sweet.

Serve the curried lentils over tofu. Daniel Orr added some basmati rice, coconut flakes, basil and a wedge of lime as garnish.

Green lentils are economical and healthy, but they can get boring after a while. I’m spicing them up today in an Indian curry.

While you’re assembling all your ingredients, put your lentils on to cook. Rinse them first. Then, for one cup of dried lentils, add two cups of water. After bringing the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook them for 20-30 minutes.

Some additional tips to keep in mind as you cook:

  • Chop the ginger east to west, instead of north to south. This cuts through the fibers and prevents any long strands from ruining the texture of the dish.
  • Allow the garlic to remain fairly raw. The pungent flavor will be nice in this recipe.
  • I always recommend using organic oranges, but especially when you’re using the zest. If you’re using a conventional fruit, be sure to wash it thoroughly!

This recipe results in a thick paste. If you’d like more liquid, add some vegetable stock to the pan when you add the lentils.

Curried Lentils Over Tofu


  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • several cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • leaves from several branches of thyme
  • handful of basil, chopped
  • 3 cups cooked green lentils
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dash of olive oil

Cooking Directions

  1. In a hot pan, add olive oil. Add onions and allow them to brown. Then add garlic, ginger, orange juice and zest.
  2. Continue adding tomato paste, dried cherries, curry powder, diced tomatoes and herbs. This will create a paste.
  3. Add lentils. Season to taste.
  4. Garnish with basil or cilantro. Serve over tofu.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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