Make a vegan version of aromatic, richly spiced keema curry by using the umami power of minced shiitake mushrooms. Tender lentils add plant-based protein to create an easy, incredibly satisfying entree.
This is a great opportunity to use up any extra shiitake stems you might have been saving from other recipes. Minced finely, they add an ideal toothsome texture that approximates ground meat, working in concert with the walnuts and lentils to make a satisfying plant protein. Each bite is layered with nuanced, contrasting, yet complimentary textures and flavors using this easy approach.
For a lower-carb recipe, you can either omit the potatoes or swap them for fresh cauliflower florets.
Bump up the beefy experience by using a meatless ground beef substitute instead of lentils. Be sure to brown it along with the onion before proceeding with the recipe.
If you’re working with a limited spice rack, you can use about 3 – 4 tablespoons garam masala instead of the whole and ground individual spices.
When tomatoes are in season, go ahead and use fresh (1 1/2 – 2 cups diced) instead of canned.
For those who like it hot, add diced Serrano peppers or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.
While keema curry is brilliant right after cooking, it actually improves over time. If you can plan ahead and make your curry in advance, the spices can mingle and meld, becoming richer and more harmonious when reheated. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, leftover should keep for 5 – 7 days. Consider doubling the recipe to fully appreciate it, now and later.
Photo & recipe by Hannah Kaminsky (https://bittersweetblog.com/)
To cook lentils from scratch, bring 4 cups of the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of dry lentils and reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes until lentils are tender (but not falling apart). Drain any excess water.