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This savory dish calls for homemade curry paste. While this sounds intimidating, it’s actually quite simple and far tastier than the ground curry spice you might find in the grocery store. The broccoli rabe, swiss chard and carrots add nice vibrant color, texture, and taste. Broccoli rabe, despite its name, is actually a relative of turnips, not broccoli. The entire plant – stems, leaves, and broccoli florets – are edible.

Serve with basmati rice, plain yogurt and flatbread, such as naan, for a hearty lunch or light dinner. Recipe adapted from Food & Wine. (*Indicates produce purchased at the Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market.)


  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 cup french green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 3 1/2 cups organic, free-range chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 large, organic red onion*
  • 2 cups chopped, organic carrots*
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can organic fire roasted tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium to large, organic shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 medium bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard (chop all of each swiss chard leaf, including stem) or kale (remove stems and only use leaves, finely chop)
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt


  1. In a saucepan, combine the lentils with the turmeric, broth and water; bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are barely tender.
  2. Meanwhile, saute onion and carrot in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, coriander and ground cumin. Stir in 1/4 cup of water to make a paste. In a small skillet, heat 3 tbsp oil until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderately high heat for 5 seconds, just until sizzling. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the spice paste and let cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until thick, about 1 minute longer.
  4. Add broccoli rabe, swiss chard (or kale), onion-carrot mixture, canned tomatoes, three-fourths of the cilantro and the cayenne to lentils and season with salt. Cook until the lentils and vegetables are tender, 15 minutes. Scrape in the spice paste and the remaining cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve.
  5. Serve with basmati rice, warm naan and plain yogurt or sour cream.