Here’s a tasty curry that’s a fine example of using multiple cooking methods. It’s easier to keep on eye on the onions, which could easily burn, if you saute them on your stove while preparing the ginger and garlic purée. Once the stew is fully assembled it is transferred to the Sun Oven. Finally, when it comes out of the Sun Oven, additional spices are toasted in a heavy skillet.
Curried Red Lentil Stew with Carrots and Sweet Potato
(adapted from Gourmet magazine April 2007)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, quartered
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 1/3 cups water
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 medium carrots, quartered length wise and chopped
1 medium sweet potato, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups chopped trimmed spinach leaves
1 cup frozen peas (not thawed)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large pot until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
While the onion is cooking, purée ginger, garlic, and 1/3 cup water in a blender. Add purée to golden onion and cook, stirring, until water is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, turmeric, and cumin and cook over low heat, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, and remaining 4 cups water. Cover and place pot in preheated Sun Oven and cook for approx. 90 minutes, or until lentils have broken down into a coarse purée.
Stir in spinach and peas and leave in Sun Oven, covered, until peas are tender. About 10 minutes.
Just before serving, heat a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat, toast the cumin seeds and red-pepper flakes, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker, 30 to 45 seconds (be careful not to burn spices). Stir hot spices into the stew.
Serve with basmati rice.
Makes 6 to 8 servings