Green tomato curry

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Ripping out four of our beloved tomato plants this weekend left us with about 5 pounds of green tomatoes.  Having already made Piccalilli and Green Tomato Chutney, I wanted to try something a bit less New England-y.  After browsing numerous options (e.g., Fried Green Tomatoes, green tomato gratin, green tomato jam) I read several Indian-inspired recipes.  Bingo!  Just the alternative I was looking for.

My version draws heavily on the pantry items I need to use up during my $200 grocery challenge (see a future post on that topic).  If I were to shop expressly for this recipe I would probably use either lentils (3/4 c total) or garbanzo beans (1 whole can), but not both.  However, I do think the whole garbanzos that remain after partial blending with my immersion blender (treat yourself to one here) provide an appealing texture to the dish, so perhaps I would add them in even if I primarily used lentils.  You decide what works best for you given what you like and have got on hand.

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This dish has an unusual and very pleasant taste owing to the green tomatoes.  It is also quite versatile.  Serve it as a thick soup, over (basmati) rice or millet, or eat alongside other Indian dishes.  For a silly take on an American classic, puree completely, add extra coconut milk to make a thinner soup and serve with naan grilled cheese for dunking.

Recipe
Time: 1 1/4 hours: 30 hands-on, 45 cooking
Yield: ~8c

Ingredients
1T coconut oil
½ medium onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3t curry powder
1T tomato paste
¼ c yellow lentils
2c chopped green tomatoes
1 ½c chopped pink tomatoes (less than fully ripe)
2/3 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
½ c coconut milk (unsweetened)
2c + 3T water
Salt & pepper to taste
Chili peppers (optional)

Directions
1.  Heat coconut oil on medium-high heat.  When hot, sauté onions and garlic until translucent.

2.  Add curry powder and cook for one minute.

3.  Add tomato paste and 3T water.  Stir to combine and simmer gently for 3 minutes.

4.  Add lentils and 1c water and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.

5.  Add tomatoes, 1c water and 1t salt, return to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.

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6.  Add garbanzo beans and simmer for 5 more minutes.

7.  Turn off the heat.  Use an immersion blender to create a thick puree with some chunks remaining, as desired.

8.  Stir in coconut milk.  Enjoy!

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