Slow Cooked Thursday – Chicken, Lentil and Pumpkin Curry

We’ve finally had a couple of days of warmer weather and signs of the coming summer, but still plenty of cooler, wet and definitely windy days, days where slow cooked foods feels kind of appropriate.  This week I made my first attempt at a slow cooked curry, though a very, very mild one.  I could have gone a bit harder with the chillies actually.

This recipe, from the Women’s Weekly Slow Cooker book, was very easy and just needed a little bit of time in preparation first thing in the morning.  And other than serving it with some flat bread and a little natural yogurt it was a one pot wonder.

2/3 cup dried brown lentils (though I’ll confess I used a tin of these)
2/3 cup dried red lentils
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large brown onion, chopped finally
2 cloves garlic, chopped finally
2.5cm fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (I only had yellow ones)
1 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 fresh long red chilli, chopped finely (I used dried chilli flakes)
3 cups chicken stock
1 kg chicken thigh fillets (the recipe said to chop these coursely, I just put them in whole and it worked fine)
400g tinned diced tomato
500g pumpkin, chopped coarsely
1 1/4 cups canned coconut milk
155g baby spinach leaves (or silverbeet)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander

Rinse the lentils under cold running water, and leave to drain.

Heat oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook until softened, then add the spices and chilli.  Continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant.  Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.

Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.  Add the chicken, lentils, tomatoes and pumpkin.  Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for at least 7 hours (mine went for a little over 8 hours).

Finally, stir in the coconut milk and silverbeet, turn the cooker up to high, leave the lid off and cook for a further 15mins.  To serve add the coriander, season to taste and add a dollop of natural yogurt.  Serve with chapatis or other flat bread.

Mr Good and I both enjoyed this one but I did find the pumpkin a bit insipid in flavour.  I think I nice sweet creamy pumpkin rather than the sort of watery bland one I had would really improve this dish.  (I do find pumpkins pretty hit and miss.)  The girls weren’t fans, though this was served at the end of an extremely long and busy day, they were both exhausted and Miss One ended up with a raging fever not long after dinner so she was obviously feeling unwell.  With all of that I suspect whatever I served up would have been treated with the same lack of enthusiasm so I won’t blame the dish.  There were lots of left overs which went into the freezer.  Most curried improve with time, so I’m hoping these will be even better next time.

PS Anyone know why some people might be having trouble leaving comments on my blog? Are there any tricks to fix this?

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