Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Red Lentil Sweet Potato Curry

I'm 40. Forty. The big 4-0. I think this technically makes me "middle-aged". How did that happen? I know, I know: 40s is the new 30s; It's all how you feel; It's just a number. All that is true. I feel pretty darn good. I am happy. I have a good life. But, I am 40. I have never had any particular plan set for myself, like by the time I'm 40 I'll be making over $100k, have 2 kids, live in a 3 bedroom split ranch in a quiet suburb near the water. None of that. (Which is good, since none of these things are true.) I tend to figure things out as I go along and take experiences as they come. This has worked out o.k. for me so far, but I feel that in my middle-agedness it might be time for me to go about things in a more deliberate manner, because the reality is that I am running out of time to do all the things I want to do in this life! I do set little goals for myself along the way, typically in regards to my physical activities. But, I think it may be time to set some larger goals for myself in order to make sure my next decade of life is a memorable one.

At the moment, however, I am more focused on the physical aspect of things. I spent some time today studying my face in the mirror wondering if I'm aging well, and trying to think of how to get rid of the big crease that runs along the middle of my forehead and the sun spots just above it. Since botox and surgery aren't really viable options for me, I think I just have to live with the current state of things. So, now I just have to go into prevention mode and try to minimize the amount of future wrinkles, spots, etc. I got a facial on my birthday and went from there to a make-up store in the mall where I asked the nice young man to try to make me look 35. And, if he couldn't do that, I asked him to at least make me look less tired. He did have some good suggestions and introduced me to a great under eye concealer and some lip gloss.

So, now it will be time to move beyond the superficial nature of things and figure out some more meaningful goals. On the cooking front, I think my 40s will be the decade of the curry. I have already started exploring that genre and will continue to do so. This is the dish I made on my birthday eve. I cut this recipe almost in half, and it made enough for dinner and leftovers for the both of us.

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry
3/4 cup uncooked red lentils
6 cups water
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup light coconut milk
1 tblsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tblsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 inch chunk peeled and grated ginger
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp peanut oil

1. Rinse the lentils. Put in a saucepan with 5 cups of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Red lentils cook very fast so be careful! Drain and set aside.
2. In a dry skillet (no oil) on medium heat, toast the curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, and 1/4 tspn salt. Toast until they become fragrant, then pour into a bowl and set aside.
3. Return skillet to heat and cook peanut oil on medium high heat. Add onions and remaining 1/4 tspn salt. Sautee the onions until they just start to brown. Add garlic & ginger and sautee for another minute.
4. Add the toasted spices, carrot and sweet potato. Sautee for 5 minutes, then add 1 cup water. cover and simmer until potatoes are tender about 10-13 minutes.
5. Stir in lentils and lime juice. Then stir in coconut milk. Let cook another few minutes. Server over rice.

1 comment:

Vegetation said...

I turned 30 last year. It was a big and scary step for me. I hope I have it as together as you do at 40 :)

I never had "plans" either, plans never seem to turn out the way you want them too anyway!

Great curry, it sounds delicious.