Sunday, February 7, 2010

Red lentils with ginger and cilantro

Josh and I dined in a great little Indian restaurant last night in Cambridge where I had Mushroom Saag. I have no idea how to make Mushroom Saag, but I did take some mental notes on the tastes that the dish boasted: ginger, cilantro and coriander. So I thought I'd try out the combo this evening with some red lentils. The end result, served warm with a dollop of crème fraiche, a side of steamed broccoli and a fresh salad, was heavenly!

  1. 1 small onion, chopped
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. Fresh ginger, peeled and roughly minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  4. 12 ounces of red lentils
  5. A teaspoon or so coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar
  6. 2 teaspoons salt
  7. A good handful of fresh cilantro, washed, stemmed and minced

In a deep pot, heat about two tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander and cook until the onion is translucent. (The smell is fantastic!) Add the lentils and stir to cover with oil. Add the salt and about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then drop the heat to simmer, covered, until the lentils turn to mush, about 30 minutes. Uncover, add the cilantro and cook for a while longer, stirring. The lentils should not be watery; if they are, cook at a higher temp for a few minutes and let the excess liquid evaporate. Remove from heat and let the lentils set for about five minutes before serving.

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