For the peanut or almond sauce:
4 tbsp or more peanut butter or almond butter(I usually use almond butter)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or use coconut aminos to make soy-free
1 to 2 tsp lime juice
zest of ½ a kaffir lime or regular lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
¼ tsp tamarind concentrate (optional)
2 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or asian chili sauce, to taste
¼ tsp or more cayenne
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp or more sugar
½ tsp sesame oil
1 cup coconut milk
For the lentils:
½ cup Red lentils (masoor dal, quick cooking split lentils), washed and drained
1.5 cups water
For the Veggies:
2 tsp oil
⅓ cup sliced red or white onion
½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
¼ cup sliced carrots
half a zucchini thinly sliced
1 Tbsp fresh basil sliced
Blend all the ingredients under peanut sauce until smooth. Taste and adjust salt, sweet and spice if needed. Keep aside.
Cook the lentils in 1.5 cups of water with a dash of salt and sugar, over medium heat for 10 minutes. The lentils will cook to just about done. If they are crunchy, cook a minute or so longer. Drain and keep aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. 3 to 4 minutes.
Add bell peppers and carrots and cook for another 2 minutes, Add in the zucchini and basil. Add some baby greens like spinach if you like.
Add the peanut sauce and mix well. Add the lentils and mix in. Reduce heat to medium and bring the sauce to a boil. About 4 minutes.
Taste and adjust salt, sweet and spice. Check if the lentils are cooked to preference. Cook longer for softer lentils. Take off heat. Cover and let sit for another few minutes. Garnish with pepper flakes or cayenne and serve over rice, grains or wide noodles of choice.