When you want a curry, but can’t stomach the spice

After reading the title, you will realise that there’s a bad pun lurking. Apologies, but it was too good to pass up. Puns aside, this recipe was developed for the boyfriend of a friend who loves curry, but not the after effects.  Despite being a very keen cook, curries being amongst his favourites, he eats a lot of processed food, sweets, fried food, rarely drinks water and drinks beer nightly. So it’s not really a surprise that he suffers from extreme heartburn and ulcers. So this recipe was designed to go easy on the gut, but still provide with him something that he’d love to eat and cook. Even if you don’t have gut trouble, you can still make this recipe, and if you choose to, toss in a green chilli or two when making the paste.  Enjoy!


Coconut Prawn, Lentil and Spinach Curry

This curry is packed with flavour, but without the traditional curry heat, making it delicious, but easy on the digestive system. It is packed with soluble fibre from the onions and lentils (also good sources of prebiotics) and aromatics (ginger and turmeric) and spices that aid in digestion (fenugreek). The aromatics have been pureed for ease of digestion. The shellfish as well as the fenugreek offer good sources of zinc, an essential mineral for gut repair. The recipe uses baby spinach, which is lower in oxalic acid to regular spinach, makes the leafy greens easier to digest. Additional digestive benefits are provided by the fresh coriander. The curry can be served with any variety of gluten-free grains, but my favourite is cooked buckwheat groats, spiced with cardamom pods, cinnamon bark and star anise, also great digestives.

Serves 2

100g yellow mung dahl

1 small red onion, quartered

3cm thumb ginger, washed

3 cm fresh turmeric root

2tbsp water

1tbsp coconut oil

1 ½tsp fenugreek seeds

1 ½tsp black mustard seeds

14 curry leaves

1tsp black peppercorns, cracked

1x 400 ml tin coconut milk

250g jumbo prawns, headed and deveined

100g baby spinach, washed

1 large handful of chopped coriander

1 lime, cut into cheeks

Toasted coconut flakes (optional)

  1. Rinse the lentils and soak in 2 times the amount of cold water for 2-3 hours. Drain, rinse, cover with 2 times the amount of water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, ginger, turmeric and water to a blender/food processor and blend to form a paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the fenugreek, mustard seeds, curry leaves and black peppercorns and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  4. Next, add the onion, ginger and turmeric paste to the pan and fry for 3-5 mins, stirring frequently, until the onion in the paste becomes translucent.
  5. Add the coconut milk and cooked lentils. Allow the dish to simmer 10 minutes to reheat the lentils and allow them to break up a bit and thicken the sauce.
  6. Then, add the prawns and cook for 3-4 mins before adding the spinach. Simmer until the spinach has wilted into the dish.
  7. Finish with a squeeze of lime (reserve the cheeks for serving) and stir through half of the chopped coriander.
  8. Serve with toasted coconut flakes, lime cheeks, the remaining coriander and a gluten free grain (instead of rice), such as cooked buckwheat groats.

Allergy info: Shellfish

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