Hearty simmered curried lentils mixed with bacon and cabbage browned in the bacon drippings equals a dish everyone will love. Perfect served with garlic naan and a salad.
I think I can probably say with certainty that I never ate lentils as a kid. I’m sure I didn’t even know what they were (and beans? I only remember eating them as sugar-laden baked beans!).
As I started trying more international foods as an adult, I came across varieties of Indian Dal made with red or brown lentils and salads made with French green lentils. They were always good, no matter what the preparation, even though I leaned towards the spicy end of the scale.
Little did I know what nutritional powerhouses lentils were then – I guess that’s the best way to discover something, isn’t it?
So of course I decided to make them a part of my cooking, since they were good tasting and good for you – and they cooked fairly quickly without needing to be soaked as many beans do. Well, and pretty economical, too, especially as a protein source.
As a result, we eat the best sausage and lentil stew ever often at our house, and eat fast and easy curried red lentil soup a bit less – but only because it’s harder to find red lentils and they’re a bit more expensive.
Curried Lentils with Bacon & Browned Cabbage
I’ve been wanting to make a curried lentil dish for awhile – one that had added turmeric (because you know I pretty much think it’s a wonder, right?) and something a bit different, too…like bacon!
I’m sure I don’t need to repeat the saying about bacon we all know and love, but even Indian curry-flavored dishes can benefit from a bit of bacon, don’t you think?
And since we’re cooking up a few slices of bacon, why not brown things like onions, garlic, and cabbage in the pan afterwards, scraping up all the browned bits? Seriously, yum.
This dish turned out so amazing! My whole family was impressed that such a humble looking dish could taste so great.
And if you wanted to leave out the bacon and make this a vegetarian curry, there is enough flavor from everything else to do it well. Just brown the cabbage in butter or ghee and proceed with the recipe.
I used a hot curry in addition to red pepper flakes – we like things spicy – so topping it all with fresh chopped tomatoes added that nice cool/hot aspect to the dish that many Indian foods have. Of course yogurt is the traditional accompaniment, and you could certainly add that as a side to the dish, too.
Served with a flatbread and a green salad, you’ve got a meal – though if you’re like my family, having a couple of grilled chicken thighs available adds lots of mom-points, ha!
Did you grow up with lentils? Do you cook with them now?
Click the arrow for the full Curried Lentils recipe (with print options)!
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