Lentils and potatoes with curry

Posted in food, home cooking at 3:48 am by wingerz


Here’s how you turn something pedestrian into something sublime.

1. Make these lentils.
2. Trade Joy for two slices of her amazing quiche (recipe from Bouchon).

Much to Jen’s chagrin, I’ve been experimenting a lot with beans lately. It’s part of my effort to eat less meat and to find some easy-to-cook stuff at home. Like Mark Bittman says, beans are easy, healthy, and don’t require a lot of maintenance or precision in preparation. Lentils are nice because they don’t require soaking ahead of time. Fortunately, even Jen liked these, and she liked them even more when some of them turned into two slices of decadent, buttery, bacon-y quiche. Affectionately named the f’ing quiche (for taking 3 days to prepare), it’s custard-y and wonderful and I can’t believe Joy gives it away so willingly. I’d at least stick around to watch people eat it.

Lentils and potatoes with curry
from How to Cook Everything

1 cup dried brown lentils, washed and picked over
3 1/2 cups water, coconut milk, or stock, plus more if needed (I used 1 can of coconut milk, will probably use 1/2 next time)
1 tbsp curry powder
2 medium starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
yogurt for garnish (I left this out)
chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Combine the lentils, liquid, and curry powder in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils start to absorb the liquid a bit, about 15 minutes.
2. Add the potatoes and cover the pan complete. Cook undisturbed for 10 minutes or so, then stir gently and check to make sure the lentils aren’t too dry. If they are, add a little more liquid. Add salt as the lentils become tender.
3. Cover and continue cooking until the lentils are soft and beginning to turn to mush and the potatoes are tender at the center, another 5-10 minutes; add liquid if necessary. The mixture should be moist but not soupy. Add lots of black pepper, stir, then taste and adjust the seasoning and serve, garnished with yogurt and cilantro.


  1. joy said,

    January 21, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    these lentils were awesome. wing sent me home with a tupperware-ful to finish later… later ended up being 5am that morning, when i polished off the entire thing at the kitchen counter. i’ll trade some of the f-ing quiche for these lentils anyday!

  2. cy said,

    January 22, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Jess would be disappointed if I didn’t say this: “yeeach”. But if you take the fresh green stuff off, I’m sure it’s *really* tasty!

  3. Drew V said,

    January 30, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Kate made these for us tonight and they were awesome. And our house smells great. She doubled it and used two cans of coconut milk (about 3.5 cups) and we thought that was the right amount.

  4. wingerz said,

    February 2, 2009 at 1:56 am

    I’m becoming a big fan of lentils since they don’t require the pre-soak that other dried beans do.

  5. Bittman Challenge: Lentils and Potatoes with Curry | See Jess Run said,

    September 11, 2009 at 11:58 am

    […] one of my Bittman Challenge recipes is a ”classic Indian-style dal,” or Lentils and Potatoes with Curry. It calls for brown lentils, but Bittman says that you can also use red lentils, which is what I […]

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