In our house we use a lot of curry in our cooking. Of course we do so because we really like curry, but also because it’s very easy to adjust the level of spiciness when using curry so it appeals to younger palates as well. One of our boys’ favorite dishes is chicken curry, which was something that was introduced to our eldest son back in kindergarten by one of his more progressive teachers. He was suspicious at first, like all 4-year-olds tend to be, but he soon grew to love it. It just goes to show that kids should not be shielded from trying new, and to them very exotic, foods. With this summer veggie curry we have taken the challenge a little further, and though we grown-ups love this, we’re still working on the kids with this one 😉
On warm summer nights I actually really like spicy food. I guess when the weather is already hot, what difference does it really make if the food gives you a sweat? Also, though I could never give up meat entirely, it’s nice to skip meat once in a while, especially on summer days where lighter meals seem more appealing and are easier to digest. The red lentils and the chickpeas in this curry still add a good deal of protein, fibre and iron, so you won’t go to bed hungry. Feel free to switch up or add veggies, but keep the scallion, chili and cilantro as these give a wonderful extra freshness and kick to the dish.
Summer veggie curry with lentils, chickpeas and scallion, chili, cilantro topping (serves 4 as a main with bread and/or rice on the side)
3 tbsp canola (rapeseed) oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lbs (450 g) butternut squash, cut into bite size chunks
½ lbs (250 g) parsnips, cut into bite size chunks
1/4 lbs (100 g) red lentils
3 tbsp curry powder
2 x 2 inch (5 x 5 cm) cube fresh ginger, crushed
8.5 oz (250 ml) cream
8.5 oz (250 g) yogurt (3.25% fat)
1 cube good quality vegetable or chicken stock
1.5 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 can chickpeas
1 bunch (5-6) scallions
Salt and pepper
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh lime or lime infused oil
1 red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
1. Start by rinsing the red lentils and chickpeas well in running water. Then heat up the canola oil at high heat in a large pot. Add the diced onions and sautée for a couple of minutes before adding the diced butternut squash and parsnips. Sautée for a further 5 minutes and then add the curry and stir while the curry mixes with the vegetables for another couple of minutes.
2. Now add the crushed garlic and ginger, stir, and then pour in the red lentils along with the chicken stock cube and the cream. Turn down the heat to medium, and let the veggies, lentils, spices and cream simmer for about 5 minutes until the cream starts to reduce.
3. Pour in the chickpeas, yoghurt, honey and apple cider vinegar and let it all simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir once in a while. Slice the scallions and keep the green part in a small bowl to save for a topping.
4. Then, add only the white part of the sliced scallions and let the curry simmer for 5 minutes more, and finally add salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped cilantro and the sliced scallions and chili and drizzle with lime infused oil or fresh lime juice and olive oil just before serving.
Serve the summer veggie curry with rice, naan, fresh bread and maybe extra yoghurt as you like. And maybe a nice cold beer 🙂
Up for more spicy summer vibe food? Here are a few to try: