- 1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp coarse grain or flaky sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1, 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken
- 4 cups (32 oz) low-sodium vegetable broth/stock
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1–2 bay leaves
- 2 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets
- 3 cups baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- coconut milk, cilantro, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes and flaky sea salt (for serving; optional)
- Use a fine mesh strainer to rinse the lentils with cold water; remove any debris. Set the lentils aside.
- Mix the curry powder, garam masala, cinnamon, cumin and salt together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside the spices.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-heat in a large stock pot or dutch-oven. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Then add in the garlic and ginger. Continue to saute, stirring often, for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spice blend to the pot along with the tomato paste. Stir to evenly coat the mixture for about 30 seconds. Then stir in the coconut milk to loosen the spices.
- Add in the green lentils along with the vegetable broth and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Then reduce the heat medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, covered but with the lid slightly ajar. Stir the lentils occasionally.
- After 20 minutes, add in the cauliflower and continue to simmer with the lid slightly ajar for another 15 minutes or until lentils have thickened and the cauliflower is fork-tender.
- Use a spoon to remove the bay leaves, then stir in the maple syrup and add the baby spinach. Stir to incorporate the spinach and gently simmer the lentils uncovered until the spinach is tender (about 1-2 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the lentils into bowls as a hearty stew or serve over brown rice or quinoa for a delicious meal. Top with accompaniments as desired (e.g. spoon a bit of coconut milk over the top, top with fresh cilantro, etc.). Enjoy!
*Lentils do not require pre-soaking prior use. However, if you prefer to pre-soak your lentils, simply add the lentils to a large pot and cover with cold water. Soak the lentils for approximately 2 hours; then drain and rinse the lentils with cold water. Note – I did not test the recipe with pre-soaked lentils, but it should reduce the cooking time by about half.