For the past few weeks, I’ve been meaning to have a turmeric dish of some sort. My co-worker has an interest in doing some research on the health benefits of turmeric and so I can thank her for the inspiration (thanks Arian!). For years, researchers thought that curcumin, one of the three curcuminoids that make up turmeric, played the more significant, pharmacologic role in the treatment of Alzhiemer’s Disease.
But more recently, researchers are finding that each of the three components plays a distinct role in making this curcuminoid mixture useful. Synergy at its finest. It only seems natural that a spice in its entirety, as it is found in nature, would provide more benefit than just one, isolated component of that spice. So many food components work this way. Obtaining vitamins and minerals from whole foods is always more beneficial than popping a multivitamin; multivitamins lack beneficial phytochemicals that are found in whole plant foods.
I used unsweetened coconut milk and allowed the natural sugars of the carrot and raisin to sweeten the sauce. This was one of those meals I kind of just threw together and I was so pleasantly surprised with the end product. These are most often my favorite meals.
Coconut Curry Lentils
The savory-sweet combination in this dish makes it difficult to say no to seconds. And no fake sugars here – just the natural sweetness from raisins and carrots.
1 cup red lentils
1 small onion, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 TBS coconut oil
1/2 TBS curry powder, 1/2 TBS turmeric, dash of cinnamon
salt + pepper to taste
Heat oil in large saute pan or pot and cook onion, garlic and carrot until soft and fragrant. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
Add lentils and raisins to pan and cook 1-2 minutes. Add broth and allow to simmer for 7-10 minutes.
When liquid is fully absorbed, add the coconut milk and spices and continue to simmer for several more minutes or until lentils are done to your preferred texture.
Serve lentils in bowls and top with a bit more coconut milk and a dash of turmeric.