Curried lamb and lentil stew
California-raised lamb is available throughout the year—whether ground for burgers, ready to roast for a spring holiday or as the centerpiece of Middle Eastern-style meals such as this stew.
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4 tbsp. red curry powder, divided use
4 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided use
1 1/2 lb. trimmed boneless lamb sirloin or shoulder cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced, peeled ginger
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup dried green or brown lentils
3 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
1 (9-oz.) box frozen, chopped spinach
1 cup frozen green peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
A day in advance: Mix 3 tbsp. curry powder and 3 tbsp. oil in a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag. Add lamb pieces and zip bag closed. Gently toss lamb in curry mixture, then marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
About 30 minutes before you begin cooking, remove lamb from refrigerator about 30 minutes before you begin cooking. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic and ginger; sauté 3 minutes longer. Add remaining 1 tbsp. curry powder and stir briefly just to coat other ingredients. Add 2 cups water, tomatoes, lentils and carrots; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lamb and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Add spinach and peas to stew and simmer until heated throughout, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serving suggestion: Serve over cooked rice and topped with a dollop of Greek-style yogurt.