My Super Cancer Fighting Recipe: Lentil Curry

Disclaimer: Due to controversy surrounding the side-effects of consuming turmeric while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, please consult your oncologist if you were ever to try this recipe while undergoing treatment.

This dish was especially taught and prepared by my mum while taking care of me when I was undergoing my own treatment. Back then I would only have this dish during my chemo rest week, so as not interfere with the chemo medicine, and also to pack myself with healthy proteins. But now, ever since I have stopped chemo, I would have this dish at least once a month just to keep everything in check. I call this My Super Cancer Fighting Recipe because the ingredients used are just superbly cancer-fighters!!

Before I start, allow me to explain. There are three main steps in preparing this dish
Step 1: Tempering
Step 2: Cooking of curry
Step 3: Seasoning

For easy referencing, ingredients for each steps are listed just prior to each step's cooking instructions. Happy cooking!

Serves 3~4

Step 1: Tempering

Basic Ingredients for Tempering:
2 tablespoon of cooking oil*
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper*
1/4 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of garam massala
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 or 3-off shallots, minced
1-off thumb size ginger, cut into sticks
2 of tomatoes, cut into chunks

*Fun facts: Fat is required by the body to consume turmeric whereas black pepper will boost the bioavailability of curcumin (healthy stuff inside turmeric that fights cancer) to 7~8 folds!

Cooking Instructions:
1. Heat up the wok with oil and then add cumin seeds when the oil is heated up. You will know that oil is nicely heated up when the cumin seeds 'sizzle' as it touches the oil. Let cook until fragrance is out.
2. Add minced garlic, ginger and shallots, and cook till slightly caramelized then add in tomatoes.
3. Turn the heat down and let cook until tomatoes skin start to peel off and is giving out thick gravy (see photo below).
4. Then add remaining ingredients (turmeric, black pepper and garam massala), stir until everything is uniformly coated with the spices and move on to Step 2: Cooking of Curry.
Left-before tomatoes are cooked; Right-cooked tomatoes

Step 2: Cooking of Curry

Basic Ingredients for Curry:
1 cup of lentils (organic preferred)
2 cups of water

Optional Ingredients:
Chilies, if you like spicy
Carrot, if you like some substance to your bites, cut into chunks

Cooking Instructions:
1. Wash the lentils (but not soaking it) and then mixed it into the previously tempered ingredients.
2. Add water then continue to stir and keep watch at low heat. The lentils are going to take some time to cook. However as the lentils cooks, it will also absorbs the water. Keep adding in water, little by little and keep stirring until the lentil turns mushy and its shape is not recognize-able (as shown in photo).
Left-before curry is cooked; Right-cooked curry

Step 3: Seasoning

Basic Ingredients for Seasoning:
Fresh squeeze lemon juice (to taste)
Salt (to taste)

At this point, there is no cooking required anymore. You can turn of the heat and add the freshly squeeze lemon juice and salt to taste. Here's a video to show you how the texture of curry would typically turn out. Depending on your own liking and preference, you can add water to make it more watery.

When I first cooked this dish myself, it took me near to 3 hours to prepare it! Mum always made it looked so easy, but that's because it came with lots of practice. Now that I have been cooking it myself for many months, I am proud to say that I have finally mastered this dish as well and it has became one of my go to comfort food as it reminds me of the time spent with my mum. I hope you will like this dish as much as I do... Leave a comment and let me know what you think of it!


Stupidgale is a Sino-Kadazan office nerd during the day and leisure blogger by night. She enjoys writting about everything under the sun and is currently living in Singapore with her family (including teddygirl the corgi).

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