I wanted to give a birthday present to a friend who is very much into reducing her footprint and zero waste. I decided to have a go at a making a recipe in a jar. Something that could be cooked with little effort, one evening after work. Simply add oil and water and you’re done. Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup is a one pot wonder that will make you smile no matter whether you’re giving it or eating it.
Make a gift, make a difference
If you haven’t made a gift before, this is a good place to start as it’s simple and quick. There are many recipes that can be put into jars. The reason I like this one for Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup is that it’s almost no effort for the recipient to make. By using well washed jars that previously contained condiments, I have extended the life of the jar and cut down on unnecessary packaging. The recipe is vegetarian and vegan so your good to go from that perspective too.
Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup
Recipe in a Jar
Ingredients for Recipe in a Jar (per jar)
- 2 x cups red lentils
- 1 x tbspn turmeric powder
- 1 x tbspn ground coriander
- 1 x tbspn ground cumin
- 1 x tbspn garam masala
- 1 x tbspn panch phoran seed mix
- 1/4 x cup coconut milk powder
- 2 x tbspn vegetarian chicken style stock powder
- 1 x tbspn dried spring onions (optional)
- 1 x tbspn coconut flakes/chips (optional)
- 1 x large empty, clean jar approx 300g – 400g
- 1 x small square of newspaper or wrapping paper for coconut
Instructions for preparing Recipe in a Jar
- Ensure jar is clean and dry, with a tight fitting lid
- Place coconut flakes or chips in a dry pan and toast for a few minutes over a low heat then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Mix turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala and panch phoran together to form a spice mix.
- Layer lentils into the jar, 1/4 cup at a time. Add few tablespoons of spice mix to form a layer followed by the coconut milk powder, stock powder and more lentils.
- Fill jar almost to the top and add dried spring onions if using.
- Twist the cooled coconut chips into a small piece of paper and add to the jar (these will be removed before the soup is made).
- Seal the jar tightly and include the instructions (below) with your gift.
Instructions for making Coconut Curry & Lentil Soup
- Place two tablespoons of oil in a saucepan on a medium heat.
- Once oil is hot, remove the wrapped coconut chips from jar and set aside.
- Tip entire jar into saucepan. Stir soup mix around in saucepan to coat in oil and allow curry aromas to release.
- Once sizzling, pour 6 cups of cold water into the saucepan, stir soup mix and bring to the boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasoning – you may need more salt.
- When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowl and garnish with coconut chips.
Makes 1 recipe in a jar = 9 cups of soup
If you don’t have one of the spice mix ingredients, don’t worry too much. The other ingredients will still taste great. Tip! If you don’t have garam masala, a tablespoon of good quality curry powder will give a flavour boost.
Take some time when you’re filling the jars, so the layering remains distinct. As you can see from these jars, I made one with horizontal layers and another with diagonal layering of the spices. I think the finished result looks very attractive. Using a funnel for the lentils makes a big difference between them ending up in the jar rather than the bench and floor.
Once you master the basics of recipes in jars, you’ll be able to try lots of different combinations. Try to keep it simple for the person making the recipe. After all, it’s a gift, not a chore!
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