My Mum introduced Mack and I to Spice Centre (9280 34 Avenue, 780-440-3334) in Little India the other day. The impetus for this visit was a desire to pick up some lentils for an earmarked recipe of Curried Lentils with Potatoes in Mark Bittman’s Food Matters (here is a very similar recipe from another one of his cookbooks), another one of our “meat alternative” ventures.
What we found, beyond a great assortment of dried lentils and beans, was a fabulous selection of spices. With each small packet priced from $1.49-$2.99, we couldn’t resist stocking up. I mention this because their red chili powder was more potent than any other we’ve ever tried – we made the mistake of adding the usual amount to a tried-and-true chili recipe…and ended up with a dish so spicy I teared up at first bite. Needless to say, we won’t be making that blind measurement mistake again.
Anyway, Bittman’s recipe is a keeper – super easy, and served with rice, makes a comforting meal. The potatoes become fall-apart tender, and the lentils add an earthiness to the dish. And like most curry recipes, it involves the addition of coconut milk – when simmering on the stove, there is no aroma more welcome in my kitchen. Bittman does provide a variation involving chicken, which Mack would have preferred, and myself, having been brought up on curries containing green beans, would add that for an additional vegetable boost.
Curried Lentils with Potatoes
As the nights cool down, I’d suggest you stock your pantry and have this recipe handy as a go-to cold weather meal.