Spiced Lentil Sprouts

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Whole lentils, or what we call in my native Marathi language as Masoor, have become my new favorites. Well, to be a ‘new’ favorite, they did not have to replace any of my ‘old’ favorites. Thankfully, I have rather magnanimous attitude towards food. So as I go on cooking and eating, the circle of my favorite foods only grows. Love all around… ūüôā

Of course, masoor or whole brown lentils can be cooked in variety of ways.¬†The dried lentils are ready to be cooked after only 3-4 hours of soaking. This time, however, I decided to sprout them as it increases both nutrition and taste. Here, we have a sprouter, which makes the whole process rather simple, but even without it you should not stumble. One can sprout lentils and other beans¬†using few¬†common kitchen utensils, as explained here. Brown lentil sprouts cook easily and require little moisture to do it. So, all I had to do was cook chopped onion onto a spicy tempering and then let the lentil sprouts steam with that. Here’s how I went ahead.

SPICED LENTIL SPROUTS

Ingredients:

Almost a quart of sprouted lentils
1-2 onions, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seed
3/4 teaspoon of red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 inch of ginger, julienned
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
7-8 curry leaves/ 1 teaspoon curry leaf powder
1/3 teaspoon of garam masala powder
1-2 green chili peppers (optional, if you want extra punch)
Salt to taste
Handful of fresh parsley, thinly chopped
1/2 a lemon

Method:

  1. Wash and drain the lentil sprouts.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat oil. Sauté cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, chili powder (and or chili pepper), curry leaves, turmeric powder till fragrant.
  3. To it, add thinly chopped onion and cover the pan with a lid. With an intermittent sautéing, let the onion cook till it changes color and starts browning.
  4. Add and mix the drained lentils with onion and spices. Add salt to taste.
  5. Cover the pan and let lentils cook in their own steam.
  6. After five minutes, add garam masala. If at this stage lentils seem too dry, then sprinkle some water and continue cooking. Usually, they should be done in another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Once done, take off the hear. Garnish with chopped coriander and a squeeze or two of lemon.

We had this as a side with rice and another curry. But honestly, I would not mind having it on its own in a bowl. Adding some green leafy vegetables to the mix (and maybe a potato or rice on side) would make it a complete meal.

 

 

 

 

Mujadara One-pot

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A long break in posting. While last few weeks could not possibly have kept me from cooking, they definitely succeeded in keeping me away from the blog.

I am glad, though, to return with a worthy recipe. Its ingredients are modest and common, which together develop into elegantly layered flavors.  Mujadara is a Lebanese dish that is made of rice and lentils. While it is quite likely to be available on the menu of your favorite Mediterranean restaurant, it is essentially one of those preparations that have been cooked for centuries, across community and household kitchens of their respective food culture. Thus, you would find many variations of mujadara across print and internet resources. At its utmost basics, it is lentils and rice cooked together. More often than not,it would also be garnished with caramelized onion. With varying spices and additional flavorers, you can have endless possibilities. My take on it is vegan one-pot,which becomes a complete meal with addition of vegetables.

MUJADARA ONE-POT

Serves two

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of brown rice
1 cup of brown lentils
1 medium-sized potato
1 carrot
1 cup of chopped spinach (I used frozen)
2 medium-sized onions
3-4 cups of vegetable stock and/ or water
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
4-5 cloves
2-3 bay leaves
1-2 tablespoon of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Dried herbs like mint or basil (optional)
Fresh green herb like coriander or chives (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional) for serving

Method:

  1. If using dried lentils, wash and soak them for at least 3-4 hours.
  2. Wash and soak rice for about 15 minutes.
  3. In a thick-bottomed pot/ pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a medium-high setting.
  4. Add half-sliced thick onion to it. Sprinkle with salt and herbs, and caramelize till golden brown with constant stirring. When done, transfer quarter of it onto a plate and keep aside.
  5.  Add remaining oil, and fry the spices (bay leaves, cloves, cinnanmon, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes)  and chopped garlic in it till fragrant.
  6. Add chopped potato and carrot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add drained rice and lentils to the pot, sauté for five minutes.
  8. Stir in the spinach.
  9. Season with salt.
  10. Add stock and/ water. Cover the pan/ pressure cooker and cook till rice is tender and chewy but not mushy.
  11. Serve with generous topping of caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon.