Garam Masala Lentils

I've always been curious about garam masala. It certainly sounds interesting and tasty.

It's similar to a curry. A blend of spices. But it's less complex than a curry blend. It's usually used as a starting point and additional spices are added.

I got some as a gift and decided to try it with lentils and barley in a curry.

If you like curry and haven't yet tried adding garam masala, you should. It's easy to get online. It adds a whole new level of depth.

I love lentils in a curry because they need a lot of flavor and they bring texture as well as thickening properties. You don't want a loose or watery curry.

I made a huge batch. This yielded 2.5 quarts of food. So you may want to halve the measurements.

1 red bell pepper, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, minced
2 serranos, minced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh kale
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1 can coconut milk
3 heaping spoonfuls of my hari…

Vegan Recipe Tofu Powered Thai Green Curry

This is a variation on some early recipes I've done for Thai green curry sauce. This time I incorporated tofu into the sauce to thicken it and also to bump up the protein factor.

Coconut milk can sometimes be grainy. Using a blender to puree together the coconut milk and tofu helped to create a smooth texture on the sauce. It's thick, creamy and luscious.

Using the blender also made easy work of the ginger and garlic. Instead of having to microplane them, I let the blades of the blender do the work for me.

Depending on where you live it can be hard to find Thai green curry paste. I just got mine on Amazon.

You could, in theory, make your own paste, but good luck obtaining all the authentic fresh ingredients. Perhaps if you live in a big city, you'd be able to do so. Otherwise, the paste is the real deal. If you've had Thai takeout and wondered how to recreate it, the paste is the secret.

1 can coconut milk
1 can Thai green curry paste
1/2 block silken firm tofu
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1 inch ginger, peeled and chunked
5 cloves garlic
2 shallots, sliced
1 jalapeno, halved and sliced
1 poblano, diced
3 dried japanese chiles, seeds discarded
1 can black beans and the liquid
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery seed

In a blender puree the coconut milk, tofu, garlic, ginger and a 5 of the mushroom slices. Set aside

Saute rest of the mushrooms and shallots in olive oil until nicely caramelized. Add coconut milk mixture, black beans/liquid, salt, black pepper, celery seed, curry paste and japanese chiles. Stir to incorporated paste into the liquids. Simmer 10 minutes. Add jalapeno and poblano. Continue simmering until sauce is reduced by 1/3 and nicely thickened.