The Recipes

Indian Lentils

Oh, dear coworker, I defer to you as to whether or not this is even remotely close to authentic.  We went out for pseudo, chic Indian food last night, and I had to see if I could remotely recreate/innovate on a lentil dish.  I love lentils almost as much as I love beets.  And, I maintain, if something doesn't taste good, it's because it's been improperly prepared.  So... this is either a hit or miss.

Indian Lentils


Ingredients:

- 1/4 c. green lentils
- 1/4 c. red lentils
- 1 1/4 c. of water or vegetable stock
- 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 anaheim pepper, diced (remove the ribs and seeds to lessen the heat)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2-in. piece of ginger
- pinch of cumin seeds
- pinch of coriander seeds
- pinch of mustard seeds
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 c. brown rice
- 1 1/4 c. vegetable stock
- salt
- olive oil
- 1/2 c. crushed tomatoes
- handful of fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Put the green lentils in a bowl and cover them with water.  Let them soak for 20 minutes.  The red lentils are more tender and don't need to be soaked.

In a dry pan, add the coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and red pepper.  Toast the spices for about a minute; until they become fragrant.  Grind the spices using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.

Start the rice cooking-- add the stock and rice to a small pot.  Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer for 40 minutes.

In another pot, heat 1 T. of olive oil.  Add in the onion and pepper and let them cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat.  Add in the red and green lentils (drained), garlic, ginger, and tomatoes.  Stir and let it cook together for 2 minutes.  Add in the water or stock.  Cover, and let the lentils simmer for 30 minutes.

Heat 1-2 T. of olive oil in the pan you toasted the spices in.  Add in the ground spices, paprika, chili powder, and turmeric.  Stir until the oil soaks into the spices.  Stir the spice mixture into the lentils and season with salt and pepper.  Either gently mash the lentil mixture, or coarsely puree with an immersion blender.  Plate the rice and top with the lentils.  Garnish with cilantro.