Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spiced Lentils with Rice and Pita

Awhile back I purchased a huge bag of red lentils because I was on a carrot soup kick that required a bit of red lentils and it was more economical to get the 4 pound bag than the smaller 1 pound bag.  Since then, I have made that carrot soup many times and I've barely made a dent in the 4 pound bag.  So I decided to make a big pot of these spiced lentils and found that we rather enjoyed eating them this way.  I'm sure I will be able to make my way through that bag pretty quickly now.  
Spiced Lentils
We found that it was pretty tasty with a bit of Jasmine Rice and some toasted pita bread on the side.   Another terrific addition would be some grilled chicken thighs or drumsticks.

1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 Serrano or jalapeno sliced in half
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 T vegetable oil

Soak lentils in a bowl for 30 minutes.  Drain water and add to a medium saucepan or dutch oven and add the water, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, Serrano pepper, and lentils.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender and almost falling apart.
Whisk or mash the lentils until the mixture becomes thick.  Add salt to taste.
In a small frying pan heat the vegetable oil.  Once oil is hot add the cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry and fry for 30 seconds to bloom, be careful since it may sputter.  Add hot spices to lentil mixture and stir to combine.  Remove Serrano pepper and serve with rice.

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