Usually the transition into a new year brings a bit of stress. Maybe I set my goals and expectations too high or maybe I just feed off the stress of others. But not this year. I made a couple simple goals and one of them – to be a better hugger – already got in some practice-time through December. And yeah, about that hugging goal, I’m totally serious. Truth is, I’m a wimpy hugger and I really noticed how lacking I was in the hugging department when I visited my friend in Montreal. After we had met up, he sent me off with a big ol’ bear hug and it made me feel pretty great. It’s amazing how a hug can really make someone else feel good. So I told myself that I’m going to quit giving out namby-pamby tentative hugs to my friends and instead deliver good, hearty and heart-felt hugs. We’ll see how it goes.
A hug makes you feel warm and loved and happy and I think this meal does the same. This dal uses red lentils which cook up in a hurry into a soft and tender bite. There’s curry involved along with a bit of sriracha because I like heat. But there’s also some diced apples to nudge in some mellow sweetness. I added in fennel because I had some lying about my vegetable crisper, but you could sub in something as common as celery, broccoli or cauliflower. I even think some greens like spinach, kale or chard would be good here too. There’s no fuss involved and it’s an easy enough meal to make on a busy weeknight. See, it’s like a nice hug for your insides and it’s a good a place to start as any.
elsewhere: Yup, I love year-end recaps and over at Poppytalk, I list my top 12 favorite recipes that have appeared over on Poppytalk through 2011! Take a peek and check out my favorite recipes.
2 T coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 c fennel bulb, finely diced
2 apples, finely diced
2 T fresh ginger, minced
pinch of salt
2 T curry paste
2 c red lentils
2 c diced tomatoes
3 c water
Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce, to taste
1/4 c yogurt (optional)
In a large heavy pot, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat and add in onions, fennel, apples and ginger along with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally until everything starts to get a little soft. Add in the curry paste and lentils and stir around until the lentils start to glisten. Turn down heat and add in the tomato puree and water, stirring so everything is combined. Put the lid on the saucepan and let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes until everything is soft. If it’s too dry for your liking, add in a bit of water. Stir in yogurt (if using) and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.
A good hug really is an amazing thing..that’s such a fun resolution!
I’m so intrigued by the apple in this dal! A total need-to-try.
Ahh, so simple (the hugs, and the dal, too). I kind of gave up on New Year’s resolutions, but maybe on simple on is the way to go. And it’s effective, too. Have a great new year!
I love your resolution! I think I need to give better hugs too! Mmm… I love dal, but I’ve never added apple to it. I’ll have to try that next time!
I love dal and have been meaning to find some new recipes – this one looks like a winner! And aside from the fennel, I have all of these ingredients sitting about my kitchen right now. Dinner tonight, perhaps? 😉
LOVE the hugging resolution – I am a big hugger and detest wimpy hugs!
This dal does sound like a big hug for your belly! It’s so true that there’s nothing like a good hugger. Best resolution!
Joanne, I’m all about the fun resolutions 🙂
Otehlia, yes, simple resolutions are the way to go!! Happy new year to you too!
Thanks Jacqui – I’m glad I’m not the only one out there giving lackluster hugs. Let’s change that!!
Amanda, skip the fennel altogether or try another veg. Enjoy!
Yay Nicole, glad you share my hugging enthusiasm 🙂 Thanks!
Love that hug resolution! I might have to add that one to my list of goals for 2012…
My resolution this year is to eat more fruit. Since January 1st, I’ve had an orange and a kiwi!
Great segway starting with hugs and leading to this meal. I love red lentils they are so easy to cook and they taste delicious! Another one of my favourite red lentil recipes is your curry dal with apples. I’ve made it a dozen times since you’ve posted it a few years back. Looking forward to trying out this one 🙂
Cue the eerie kwinky dink music. Yesterday we went for the first time to a lovely East Indian market because I needed some red lentils and a few spices. The red lentils were super cheap on sale. This morning I knew that I wanted something with curry flavours and red lentils, so I thought I would check out your trusty blog (you’ve never failed me yet). Your recipe was spot on. I added cabbage instead of fennel and a can of chick peas just for good measure. Jasmine brown rice went with it perfectly. Thanks for dinner!
Haha, thanks Rowdy 🙂
Yay for fruit, Joanne – I should probably get on that too. Yes, this is similar to my old recipe but this has tomatoes which help add more tang. It’s lovely and I hope you enjoy it!
Loretta, so glad you made this – & with cabbage! Glad it turned out really well.
I love that resolution. It made me so happy just read it. What a great idea to have a resolution that’s all about making other people feel great instead of yourself feel bad. Awesome!
This is one of the best resolutions I have ever heard. I love it! Yes, nothing better than a good hug. I have a good guy friend who is a big guy and gives the wimpiest hugs – total bummer! I made a lot of little and a few big resolutions this year. I make red lentils a lot but never with apples – what a great idea!
I love the hugging resolution– who doesn’t love a great hug? My girlfriend is a master hugger and I try to learn from her. This recipe looks so comforting and yummy, perfect for winter nights!
first time here, and should say..a very simple yet elegant space you have got! nice recipe collection.
do check out my space too…just into blogging , on a fresh start a long gap.
I’m always looking for recipes with lentils! Can’t wait to give this one a try!
Wow – this dish does look warm and happy – just like a hug. Such a great vegetarian dish for any weeknight meal!
I made this. Judy said “delicious!” and I liked it too. I opted to cook the lentils with olive oil, and cook them for a while longer, to make them a bit smoother. My only complaint is that that coconut oil is 90% saturated fat, perhaps there’s another way for you to achieve the same flavor profile?
Had this for dins last night after paddling and it was amazing! My friend made it with brown lentils and plopped a heap o’yoghurt (plain) on top and I was in post-workout heaven! Thank you for inspiring her cause, man, it was tasty!
Thanks Laura K! I’m so glad you love my resolution 🙂
Thanks Dana, apples and lentils go so well together…especially in curry! Try it and see.
Cozy H, oooh a master hugger – sounds amazing! I need skillz!!
Thanks Sona for stopping by. Good luck with blogging.
Thanks Hayley, I hope you give it a go.
Robert F, yes, it seems that coconut oil is back and being sold as a heathy option now (I never remembered seeing it in stores before!). It is saturated so olive oil is a good sub. Glad you enjoyed the dish.
Nell, so glad you enjoyed it and that it went well with brown lentils too.
What kind of curry paste did you use? Red? yellow? green? a particular brand? This recipe looks great but I want to make sure my results are tasty and I don’t have any curry paste experience. Thanks!
Betsy, good question! It seems I always link to Patak’s curry paste in most of my recipes and forgot to this time. I love Patak’s and I’ve used many of their pastes and all would work well here. For this I used their Jalfrezi paste. Enjoy!
I LOVE your hug resolution. 🙂 Red lentils are one of my favourite legumes and I love that you added apple. Sounds delicious.
It is so tasty, Ashley. I hope you give it a try!