How My Husband Created the Red Lentil Disaster


WARNING: If you don’t want to read something potentially … unsavory … skip to the recipe at the end of the post.

Back in 2009, Peter and I moved from southern CT to smack-dab in the middle of the state (a stone’s throw from Hartford/spitting distance/the distance I can drive before craving a cheese sandwich/choose your cliche). I was studying for the MCATs at that time, so Peter very kindly did much of the packing.

Soon after, I regretted that arrangement.

Let me present: Exhibit A – The Instrument.

This is the very first picture we took of Maddies, on the day we brought her home. Cute, isn’t she? Just look at the innocence glowing from that furry little face.

Ah, how looks deceive.

As usual, Peter packed the kitchen first. This included boxing up the nonperishables in the pantry — and that’s where the situation became horribly, horribly wrong. Let hear it from his own mouth.

Exhibit B – The (Feeble) Excuse

Okay, that’s quite enough out of you.

The final result was a horrified Jessie and a puffy Maddie who wobbled from side-to-side as she walked.

Exhibit C – The Ammunition

And so we lost our entire red lentil supply in one five minute block of inattentiveness. But don’t you worry! We saw the lentils again … and again … and again. In fact, we saw them repeatedly for the next week and a half. And I’ve yet to let Peter pack the pantry again.

The best part? For years afterward, I came across random red lentils in our carpets, on shelves, stuck to the bottom of cans, everywhere. These little red buggers followed us through two separate moves, adding a new level of constancy from place to place I never desired. In fact, while unpacking from this latest move, I found a lone red lentil stuck to the bottom of one of the packing boxes.

And so it continues.

(As a side note, none of these lentil hangers-on came from Maddie, obviously, but rather from Peter’s initial explosion of spilled lentils back in 2009.)

I have not bought red lentils since then … until now. After finding them here, I had a sudden urge to make a red lentil dish again. Only time will tell if this choice was a mistake.

Recipe adapted from this one. Fiber-rich red lentils are great for busy nights because they’re one of the fastest-cooking lentils, taking only about 15-20 minutes.

No Regrets Red Lentil Curry

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 30 minutes

  Keywords: saute entree vegetarian vegan red lentils

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped with juice
  • salt
  • pepper


Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear. This keeps the lentils from forming that unattractive scum when cooking. Put the lentils in a large pot and cover with water. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, adding more water if necessary, about 15-20 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet and caramelize the onions.

While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in the tomato puree and add salt and pepper to taste.. Reduce the heat and allow the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready. When the lentils are tender, drain excess water. Mix the curry base into the lentils and serve immediately.

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Q: What’s your biggest kitchen disaster?


  1. I made the same red lentil curry last week so delicious!!

  2. I haven’t eaten lentils in ages…perhaps it’s time to pick some up again. I always have a hard time getting the flavour and balance of the spices just right. Following a recipe would probably help haha 😉

  3. My dog has eaten quite a few ridiculous things, including but not limited to – a pack of gum, an entire loaf of bread (and she is a TINY dog…we’re talking ten pounds. Maybe.), and leaves. Many many leaves. Among other things. But never lentils. Yet. Probably just because she hasn’t been given the opportunity.

    I love the dish you made with them though! And red lentils are some of my favorites.

    1. Well, now my dog has competition. Perhaps a leaf salad is in order for her? 😛

  4. I love lentil dishes :d

    Luckily my dog hasn’t gotten into any of our food. Weirdly though she has a taste for beer and wine. Don’t put your beer bottle within reach or she’ll start licking it. Spill a glass of wine? Don’t worry, the dog’s got it covered.

    1. Bagigis sounds like a happy dog 😉

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