The cooking traditions of France date back to a very long time and the preparation method of French dishes have evolved over time. Generations after generations refined recipes and added subtle and creative techniques to the country’s gastronomic practices. The dishes differ from region to region and therefore the richness and diversity of French cuisine is beyond belief. It is so special, that the UNESCO classified the gastronomy of France as “intangible cultural heritage”.
The recipe for the curried lentils is definitely inspired by French gastronomy. It is a vegan dish that was created by Cathy Fisher. I found her healthy and flavorful recipe on the website of Forks over Knives and it soon became one of my favorite meals. It is not only delicious, but it is absolutely nutritious. To add to its benefits, it is easy to prepare and it embodies all the richness and subtlety of French cuisine.
As it is a curried dish, I think, it is a good idea to use the “Vadouvan” blend of curry spice in this dish. “Vadouvan” is a French curry bled that was inspired by South Indian flavours. It is known to originate in a former French colonial area of India, namely Pondicherry (currently Puducherry), which is located in the Tamil Nadu province of the country. However, French chefs added quintessentially French tastes to the original curry powder, including shallots, fennel and garlic. It is a special blend of curry that has complexity and if you use this blend, it will enhance the falvours of this fantastic curried lentil dish. However, if you cannot get hold of this special blend, the Madras blend of curry is absolutely gorgeous, too. If you have the chance, try it with different curry blends and choose your personal favourite.
- 250 ml water
- 250 gram green lentils
- 1 yellow onion (chopped to small pieces)
- 1 medium-sized sweet potato (diced to small pieces)
- 500 gram cauliflower florets (divide florets to small units)
- 2 ribs celery (sliced to narrow pieces)
- 400 gram can of diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (preferably Vadouvan or Madras blend)
- 2 teaspoons dried green herbs (preferably French blend)
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 bunches of spinach or kale leaves
- Bring the water to boil in a medium-sized or large pot. Add the lentils and cook them according to packet instructions. (Normally lentils need to be boiled and them simmered for approximately 20-40 minutes, but the cooking time varies based on the type of lentil you use.)
- Add the onion, sweet potato, cauliflower celery, herbs and spices. Pour in the can of tomatoes and cook the mixture for 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach or kale leaves. If you use spinach, cook for approximately 3 minutes, if you use kale, cook for up to 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender and the greens are wilted.
The curried lentils can be served with brown or jasmine rice, or can be eaten on its own.