Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Red Thai Root Vegetable and Lentil Curry

I took the lovely boyf out to dinner last Saturday, with our friends the Bs.  A gorgeous little restaurant with only 20 covers, designed to make you feel like you were eating at home albeit a very, very nice home with fabulously attentive hosts!  They knew in advance that I don't eat meat and dairy and did me proud, not only was the food delicious, but my meals matched the other options, how lovely not to feel like the odd foodie out.  And the "only 1 bottle left" wine list was a real treat, the boys took it as a challenge and Mrs B and I thoroughly enjoyed having a taste too.  To top it all off, it snowed in March, and we ended the meal watching huge, beautiful flakes fall outside through a proper "picture window".  Perfect evening.

This dish is inspired by my main course, our host kindly gave enough tips to start me off.  It's not exactly as his was, I think I would need a homemade red Thai paste for that, and I've added in my latest great find, fish free king prawns.

Red Thai Root Vegetable and Lentil Curry (serves 4)

Mixed root vegetables (I used 2 carrots, 8 baby parsnips and 5 new potatoes) washed and chopped to approx. a 1 cm dice
240g Puy Lentils
3 tbsp Red Thai Paste
400ml Coconut Milk
1 tbsp sugar
Prawns (if using)

The lentils went into a pan with 3 times as much water, brought to the boil and simmered for 20-25 minutes, until soft but not mushy. They were then strained and set aside.

Once chopped the vegetables were also brought to the boil and simmered until just soft.  Once strained, they were also put to one side.

In a large pan, I warmed 3 tbsps of EVOO and then cooked the prawns for 10-15 minutes, set them aside and added the vegetables, lightly frying them. 

Once they had some colour, I added the red Thai paste and the prawns, stirred them all through for a couple of minutes and then added the lentils and the coconut milk.  This simmered for a further 5 minutes before I stirred the sugar through and served.

I forgot coriander but, had I had some, would have also stirred a chopped handful of that through the dish before serving.

It was a lovely meal, warm and gently spiced, filling too - perfect for eating in front of the fire on what was another snowy evening.  The dish from Saturday had more clarity, less of a creamy sauce, which may have been due to a low fat rather than regular coconut milk, or more oil in a homemade red paste, but the flavours were spot on and the prawns a nice touch.  Its also been added to the "again" list by both the boyf and the 11yr old, hurrah! because I loved it!

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