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What you'll need (flexible sort of a list):


A bag of mixed dried lentils/beans
A couple of onions
A bunch of garlic, according to taste
olive oil or butter (depending on audience)
Some variety of winter squash
veggie stock/broth
curry paste
coconut milk
(at VP I use the "lite" variety)
mixed greens: kale, collards, chard, spinach, etc

Rinse then soak your mixed beans and lentils overnight, drain, cover in veggie stock and pop into slow cooker or kettle on lowish heat. Cook for a long time. At some convenient point, clean and peel the squash, cube it up, and toss into pot with beans. This should be a fairly thick mixture, after cooking down. Toss in a pinch of cayenne. Or two.

Slice your onion and garlic into desired sizes and shapes. Saute in butter (or olive oil, if you're worried about that sort of thing) until transparent. At some point, when you happen to think of it, put a big old glop or three of curry paste into the onions while they cook. Keep the heat low enough you don't burn your spices. I usually go hunting for cinnamon sticks to throw into the cooking onions and garlic, too -- and when I can't find them, I resort to a pinch or two of the powdered cinnamon that seems to live in every American kitchen, regardless of region. You can also omit the coconut milk, and instead crunch up a couple of spoonfuls of coriander with a mortar and pestle (I eschew food-processing. Mostly because I just think it sounds nasty) to add to your spice mix, cooked with the onion and garlic.

When onions are transparent and fragrant with spices, add into your bubbling lentils/squash mix. Core and quarter those sorry-looking tomatoes in the veggie crisper, and toss them into the pot, as well.  Taste. Add more curry paste, if need be. And cayenne. Add in coconut milk, according to your personal level of fondness for coconut milk.

Wash and coarsely chop your mixed greens, and add to the pot about five minutes before you're ready to serve. (Over way more cooked rice than you anticipated needing.)

Full disclaimer: This will never happen the same way twice.

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mac_stone

April 2011

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