Creamy and mildly spicy, this curry is full of good-for-you vegetables and lentils. I especially like to make it when I have a crisper full of bits of vegetables to get rid of. The leftovers are fantastic as the flavors develop even more as it sits a bit, and I’ve also been known to make it ahead and freeze for lunches or busy weeknights. Feel free to change up the vegetables (try adding squash instead of tomatoes), add a can of chick peas, and dial up the heat as much as you like.


1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
1 apple peeled, cored, and diced
3/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp toasted brown mustard seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
14 oz can of coconut milk
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, if you don't mind using it
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup red lentils
2 large field tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

  In a large, deep skillet, heat about 2-3 tbsp of oil over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until softened and fragrant. Stir in the celery, carrots, cauliflower, potato and apple and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning.

  Sprinkle the tumeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, cayenne, and mustard seeds over the vegetables and continue to cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more while the spices coat the vegetables and toast a bit. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, tomato paste and lentils, bringing up any bits off the bottom of the pan.

  Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the temperature down to low to allow the curry to simmer, uncovered, for about 25 minutes. Add the tomatoes and peas, simmering for another 5 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice, dollops of mango chutney, and warm naan.

Makes about 4-6 servings

Adapted from Fresh by John Bishop