I love Trader Joe's. In high school we had one right at the end of our street. One of my favorite memories of living in that house was to walk with my mom and little brother to TJ's after school to pick up ingredients for dinner. Unfortunately, the Baltimore location pretty inconvenient relative to where I live. The real problem is that since it's such a trek to get there, whenever I finally muster up the effort and time to make the trip, I spend so much money because I can't help but stock up on all of my favorites! It's really amazing though- the quality and price of everything from eggs to dried fruit is impressively competitive. That being said... I've had a running list of items to buy from TJ's ever since the last time I went. What topped my list? Red lentils! Don't ask me why... I just knew they'd be cheaper at TJ's than Whole Foods or Safeway. But as soon as I wrote it down, I got this great craving for a red lentil curry I made a couple of years ago. And as soon as I had all the ingredients to make it, I realized how great of a food blog post it would make! Red lentils get thick and creamy when you cook them, which makes for a lusciously rich and thick curry. Sometimes I'll add mushrooms, spinach, or tofu to the curry just for fun- feel free to do the same if you want!

red lentil curry

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 cup red lentils
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt
cilantro for garnish

Sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and spices and stir well to combine. Add the lentils and let them toast for about 3 minutes before adding the tomatoes, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer uncovered over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the curry is thick and creamy. After removing from the heat, stir in a spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt. Garnish with cilantro and serve over white rice.

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