Curried Lentils with Rice
and okra / curry aioli
This vegetarian meal, made of humble ingredients and Indian-inspired spices, got great reviews when it was first featured in 2017. We've added curry aioli to the original version of this recipe - it's great for dipping okra or drizzling over the lentils.
Smarts: Okra is a love-it or hate-it ingredient in our community of cooks. Roasting brings out a texture that may convert even those who think they don't like it, but feel free to use green beans or broccoli in its place.
- Mayonnaise - 1/4 cup
- Curry powder - 1/2 tsp
- Okra - 1 lb, trimmed and halved (sub green beans or broccoli florets)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Onions, medium - 1, chopped
- Carrots - 8 oz, chopped
- Ginger, fresh (opt) - 1 tsp, chopped
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
- Garam masala - 1 1/2 tsp
- Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp
- Curry powder - 1 1/2 tsp
- Lentils, pre-cooked - 2 1/2 cups (look for vacuum-packed or canned)
- Stock, any type - 2 cups
- Yogurt, plain or Greek (opt) - for serving
- Water - 3 1/2 cups
- Rice, basmati - 2 cups
- Cook rice - (This makes enough for 2 nights.) Fill a saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then add rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat down to low and cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make curry aioli - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Whisk together mayonnaise and curry powder (portion for aioli). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Carrots - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Ginger / Garlic / Limes - Prep as directed. Combine ginger and garlic. Store lime wedges separately. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Okra - Slice stems off okra and halve lengthwise.
- Heat oven to 450F / 232C.
- Toss okra with oil and spread onto a sheet pan. Season with some salt. Roast for 20 minutes, shaking once midway through.
- While okra roasts, heat a skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add butter and then onions and carrots to melted butter. Saute until onions are soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add ginger, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, cumin, and curry powder (portion for lentils). Saute until fragrant, ~1 minute. Stir in lentils and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, until carrots are tender and lentils are creamy (add some more stock or water if the lentils start to look dry). Season with some salt.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half for Wednesday).
- Serve lentils over rice with a spoonful of yogurt on top. Enjoy okra and aioli on the side. Squeeze lime wedges over the entire dish.
The green beans (which I swapped for the okra) and curry aioli were my favorite. I could eat a billion of them. The lentils were fine but not thrilling. I added some spices to pep it up.0 Helpful
My family was just not a fan. Not sure how to say this exactly but it just tasted like spices. Cumin in particular.0 Helpful
Subbed green beans for okra but still very good!0 Helpful
delicious and wholesome. I've never had roasted okra, but quite like it!0 Helpful
Not a favorite, but decent flavor and quick to make. Not super filling.0 Helpful
This was great! I skipped the aioli and used dried lentils that I cooked ahead of time0 Helpful