Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Green Lentil Curry with Cilantro-Lime Basmiti Rice

For my New Year's resolution I gave up eating anything out of a can to avoid BPA residue in my food and in my body.  So I decided to give making coconut milk a try and I've got to tell you, I don't think that it's worth the effort.  I purchased a regular coconut (perhaps I should of purchased a young Thai coconut instead) because it was really difficult to open and to remove the flesh.  I really liked the coconut water and used it my smoothies, but the milk made from the flesh, not so much.  However, I do believe that it is 100% healthier for you if you make it from scratch, and so I decided to give it another go, but this time I purchased unsweetened, naturally dried organic coconut flakes and soaked, blended and strained the milk.  It was simple and it had the consistency of lite coconut milk you purchase in a can, but tasted so much better!


1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed
1 cup French green lentils, rinsed
3-4 organic Roma tomatoes, blanched, skins removed, grated
1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk (see recipe below)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1-2 tbsp Madras curry powder (depending on taste)
1-2 tbsp agave syrup
2-3 tbsp lite tamari sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos
2-3 cups organic baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime, divided
2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tbsp coconut flakes

  • Cook rice according to package directions.  Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes.  Add the juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tbsp minced cilantro.  Fluff with a fork, keep warm and set aside.
  • Cook lentils in plenty of water for 15 minutes until tender.  Drain and set aside.
  • In a large sauce pan, add tomato puree, garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes.  
  • Stir in curry powder, tamari, agave and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes for flavors to combine.
  • Add coconut milk, lentils and spinach and heat through until spinach is wilted.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary and add the remaining lime juice.
  • Spoon lentil curry mixture over rice and garnish with minced cilantro and dried coconut flakes.
Coconut Milk

1 cup organic naturally dried unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups hot filtered water

  • Place coconut flakes in a bowl and cover with hot water.  Let sit for 30 minutes for coconut to soften.
  • Add coconut mixture to a blender and blend on high until creamy.
  • Strain milk through a fine mesh strainer to remove solids.
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk.
If you don't want to use dried coconut then you can make it the hard way using a whole coconut.  It's the same process of soaking the flesh of the coconut, but you have to grind it in a food processor first, then soak and strain it.

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