Be warned, my measurements are an inaccurate science.
a couple of cups cooked lentils (I use green lentils, red would be pretty)
a double handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, either chopped or sliced
4 tomatoes, blanched, skin peeled, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
pinch of cumin
salt (maybe a teaspoon)
pepper to taste — actually, all spices are according to your preferences
splash of balsamic vinegar
pinch of sugar
Gently fry the onion in a generous amount of butter with salt and pepper until translucent (could use oil, then this recipe would be vegan-friendly). Add curry powder and cumin and fry half a minute so spices are activated (if activated is the word? your kitchen should start to smell yummy). Add the ginger and tomatoes. Add the splash of balsamic vinegar and sugar to the tomatoes to bring out their sweetness. Stir over a low heat for a couple of minutes then add the mushrooms and cooked lentils, and enough water to almost cover the contents of the pot. Be careful, the mushroom slices will float and make you think you need to add more water. You can always add more water as the curry simmers, so don’t be too generous. Bring to the boil and simmer for one to two hours. If you use canned lentils, the cooking time is lessened, but the longer the mushrooms are in the mix, the more flavour they absorb.
The flavours are really intense and go well over rice — or you can be greedy and eat this curry on its own. Yum.
I precook lentils and freeze them in meal-sized portions. To precook lentils, rinse them, put in a pot with three or four times their amount of water and add some herbs for flavour. Never add salt at this point. The lentils won’t cook properly if you do–and no one wants tough lentils. The herbs I use are two bay leaves, a couple of flat leaf parsley stalks, and a stem each of thyme and marjoram. Cook for twenty to thirty minutes. The time really does vary. The lentils should be soft but not falling apart.