Sunday, December 30, 2007
Whole Red Lentils with Toasted Spices, which I'm sharing today, is one of my favorite dishes.
For a number of reasons: the lentils taste great and cook easily, making them perfect for busy evenings when you have little time to throw together a meal that's both nourishing and delicious.
What's more, like all beans and lentils, they are packed with healthy protein and fiber. They also don't need to be pre-soaked, although I do soak them for a couple of hours when I have the time: it just reduces the cooking time further.
I also toast the garlic before grinding it with the rest of the spices which adds to the depth of flavor.
The lentils taste great with brown rice or chapati, but you can also just eat it by itself, like a soup. One thing is certain: you will be back for seconds.
1 cup whole red lentils (masoor), cooked until tender.
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp sugar
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped into large pieces
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes or 2 tomatoes, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
In a skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Remove to the blender.
Then toast the garlic in the skillet until it starts getting brown spots. Also add to blender along with the tomatoes.
Blend until smooth.
Heat oil and add onions and sugar. Cook on a medium flame for about 10 minutes until onions turn brown.
Add the blended mixture of tomatoes and spices, chili powder, turmeric and salt, and cook until the mixture starts drying and turns a few shades darker.
Add the lentils and cook for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with coriander and serve hot.