Lentils in the Kitchen
I feel like I have so much to say right now. Let’s just get it going…my brain is a-whirlin’.
First up, thank you for your participation in the first book discussion! If you have any constructive feedback, don’t hesitate to email me or comment on what you would like to see in the future. I believe the next book in line is The Help. So great! I’m excited. Let’s shoot for mid-June. Go check it out NOW!
Secondly, I’m putting a reader meet-up in PHILLY this Friday along with Sabrina, Anne and Tina. All you local Philly readers, we would love to meet y’all! Please come to Phileo frozen yogurt at 3pm on Friday for a super casual fro-yo/walk. Please email me and let me know you’re coming so I can get an estimate on how many people we’ll have. Wahoo!
Thirdly, I’m so tired. I just feel the need to tell you about my day for a quick second because this is a blog and that’s what I do. So, I wake up at 5:30 and go to the gym to do another one of Gina’s Summer Shape Up workouts. It was crazy hard and afterwards I was going to stay and do some HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) but I actually felt sick to my stomach so I left. Before the gym, round 6:00 I ate half a banana with almond butter and I wasn’t expecting this workout to be as intense as it was! I guess that’s a good thing though, right?
I ate my breakfast (you saw it earlier) and quickly showered and got ready for my first day of training for my new job. I described my new job here….today as part of my training my boss forced me to sit down and do a local cheese and wine pairing. The agony! The verdict: Carmody cheese from Bellweather farms with local honey and toasted quinoa paired with our 2008 Vitner’s Reserve Riesling might just be manna sent down from heaven. It just might.
My tempeh and hummus wrap paled in comparison but I ate it anyway.
Later I ate a Pure Bar…but my heart was still captured by the cheese. And the Riesling.
After I got home from work I made it BACK to the treadmill for the highly anticipated HIIT. 20 minutes of fast sprints and recovery jogs. Good times. I felt better once it was over.
More Indian food? Yes, darlings. Here’s the preface to this lentil-icious bowl you see above:
I have been given the unique opportunity to blog recipes for some of my favorite things…….dried peas and lentils! Honestly, I just don’t think it could get even more exciting. I do love me some legumes and I love to get creative with simple ingredients such as these. So, be on the lookout for new recipes formulated by me during the next two weeks. When I make a winner, I’ll be entering it in a contest as a part of USA Dried Peas, Lentils and Chickpeas
(yes, there is such a company).
It actually worked out perfectly though because all day I had been hankerin’ for more of that outstanding dahl I had at the Indian restaurant in Berkeley
yesterday. Unlike other dahls I’ve had in the past, it didn’t seem to have a tomato base and even though the flavors were very complex and delicious, it seemed to appear very simple to make.
And so I winged it. But it worked and dare I say almost rivaled my bowl yesterday? Seriously. Here’s the deal.
Combine 1/2 cup dry red lentils in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil on the stove.
While you’ve got that goin’, evaluate your spice cabinet.
Sorry to disappoint you, but yes, I do use minced garlic from time to time. It saves time, yo. Other players you need are garam masala, cumin seed, coriander (it’s hiding!), turmeric and sea salt. I recently started using Fleur de Sel and can really notice a difference in the taste of my food…it’s fantastic and really brings out the flavors of what you’re cooking with. Conveniently, I’ve added it to my Open Sky store
Anyways. Getting back to the lentils. Once the pot starts to boil, turn down the heat to medium/low and let her simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. It should start to thicken up and be more like a split pea soup consistency now.
Now for the fun (but possibly detrimental) part. Get you some coconut oil and heat up 1 tbsp in a large skillet or cast iron.
If you live on the third floor of an apartment with a window box, it’s probably already melted due to the 80 degree conditions of your small kitchen. One up!
Heat the oil on medium/high heat and then add your spices. This toasts the spices and really brings out an intense flavor. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds:
1/4 tsp turmeric:
1/2 tsp coriander (not 1/4th like the picture…do not be fooled):
1/2 tsp garam masala:
And finally, 2 tsp minced garlic:
And now we shall pause. Y’all, please be careful with the garlic. Don’t burn it. I burned it tonight and had to completely re-do this dish (the garlic looked like fried ants in my coconut oil and I had to dump the whole thing). Burning the garlic is sort of like burning the onions. It WILL ruin the entire final dish. To ensure your garlic does not become ants like mine, turn down the heat to low/medium, add the garlic and then stir everything quickly. You may even want to take the skillet OFF the stove at this point because it’s probably screaming hot.
Can you see the ants? Fail.
But since I was trained on matters such as this, I regained my composure quickly, dumped the burned matter and started over. No big deal.
If you have timed this correctly, your lentils should now be very tender and at a stew-like consistency. Add them to the skillet with the oil and spices.
Stir! Stir! Stir!
Season with salt and pepper and have yourself a bowl of deliciousness.
It was absolutely delicious and perfectly spiced, post burned garlic episode. I also had a big plate of roasted broccoli, grape tomatoes and Mary’s crackers with mine.
Here’s the complete recipe again, if you want to write it down or print.
Simple Red Lentil Dahl
Serves 1 or 2
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
Combine the lentils and the water in a medium sized pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer—uncovered—for about 25
minutes until tender.
After about 15 minutes, heat up the coconut oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. Add the spices and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and
add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds (carefully!) and then add the cooked lentils.
Stir to combine everything, season with sea salt and pepper and then serve. For a thinner soup, add more water at the end of the cooking process. This dahl
thickens up significantly off the heat, in your bowl.
And there you have it. I also baked these beauties:
And now I shall go eat one. Or two. Or three.