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If only I had discovered the glory of Gourmet magazine a little bit sooner. But, no. I had to subscribe precisely nine months before Conde Nast decided to pull the plug. The inequity!

Two consolations followed.

First, a subscription to Bon Appetit arrived in place of the last few issues of my Gourmet subscription. Pretty and entertaining but, let’s face it, just not the same.

Second, Rob’s dad bought himself an iPad, which I borrowed for just enough time to discover the Gourmet Live app…another less than equal publication, but a substitute nonetheless.

This next recipe comes from the latest issue of Gourmet Live (whose content still expires despite having a paid subscription – robbed, I tell you! – but, I digress).

It’s pretty quick, it’s definitely easy, and it is wholly satisfying in the my-body-is-thanking-me-for-this kind of way.

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I actually took this photo the next morning while packing leftovers for Grandpa’s lunch…not quite as vibrant looking as the night before, but you get the idea!  It was amazing to see such rich colors become muted during the cooking process.

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Curried Red Lentil Stew

Serve with basmati rice (and plain yogurt if you wish, though it is quite saucy on its own)

Ingredients

6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 2×1″ piece peeled ginger, quartered
5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
5 cups water (plus a little extra)
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup red lentils (they really look orange)
3 medium carrots, quartered and chopped roughly
3 cups chopped trimmed spinach (we used 3 oz. frozen)
1 cup frozen peas (we were all out so we left them out!)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes

Accompaniments

Steamed basmati rice, roasted cauliflower (salt, EVOO, roast at 450 until tender), fresh cilantro, plain yogurt.

Instructions

Heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat in a heavy pot.  Saute onion with a little salt until golden (8-10 minutes).

Puree garlic and ginger with a little water in a spice grinder or food processor until very smooth.  Add to onion and cook until water evaporates and the onion begins to fry a bit in the oil.  Add spices and stir for one minute.  Stir in lentils and 5 cups water, then simmer covered while stirring occassionally for 30 minutes.  Add carrots and remaining salt and simmer another 15-20 minutes, covered.

Stir in spinach and peas and cook another 3 minutes, uncovered.  Stir in cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.  Add a little water if needed to achieve desired consistency.

Heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a small saute pan until shimmering.  Add cumin seed and pepper flakes and fry for one minute, then add this mixture to the stew before serving.