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… 🙂
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
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
- Wash and drain the lentil sprouts.
- In a non-stick pan, heat oil. Sauté cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, chili powder (and or chili pepper), curry leaves, turmeric powder till fragrant.
- 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.
- Add and mix the drained lentils with onion and spices. Add salt to taste.
- Cover the pan and let lentils cook in their own steam.
- 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.
- 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.