Turbo-charged Veggie Deer Curry

This recipe is adapted from Shelley Adam’s Curried Lamb and Lentil Soup from Whitewater Cooks at Home. I turbo-charged it with way more veggies, but I owe the amazing spicing and core concept of this recipe to Shelley Adams, whose cookbooks, especially the first two, changed the way I cook, and made cooking exciting for me.

The main difference from Shelley’s original recipe is I’ve added half an eggplant, a full 2 cups of blanched spinach, and 2 cups of chopped green cabbage. You can also add ½ a cauliflower! I also added half a parsnip and took out the garlic cloves and her can of diced tomatoes. I’ve swapped out the lamb for deer.

I hope Shelley approves. I am driven to create hearty dishes that complement veggies. In winter I prefer my veggies well cooked and spiced. Ideally, they are in a good hearty soup!

Turbo-Charged Veggie Deer Curry:

2 tbs pure olive oil

1 tbs fresh ginger, minced

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp turmeric

1 lb Pemberton deer stew meat

6 cups water

1.5 cups green lentils, rinsed

2 tbs pure olive oil

1 large yellow onion, small dice

½ eggplant, small dice

2 cups chopped cilantro

2 cups green cabbage, finely chopped

½ parsnip, small dice

2 cups blanched spinach or chard, chopped

1 red pepper, small dice

½ yellow pepper, small dice

2 carrots, small dice

½ cauliflower, small dice (optional)

1 tbs cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garam masala

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper


Sear deer meat in dutch oven or stainless soup pot on medium-high heat with ginger, chili flakes and turmeric until meat is well browned. Add lentils and water.

Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.

In another large soup pot, add olive oil at medium heat. Add fenugreek and mustard seeds and cook until they pop. Then add ALL other veggies: onion, turnip, peppers, eggplant, blanched spinach, cilantro, etc. Sauté low and slow until soft and translucent and/or caramelised. Then add cumin, coriander and garam masala.

Finally add the deer and lentil mix to the veggie mixture and simmer for another 20 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste.