Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Curried lentils and just-picked potatoes

I wanted to do something simple but tasty with some of my CSA take, and I wanted to go less-meat (not completely meatless; I have a lot of chicken stock onhand).  I like curry, my friend who was over on Saturday likes curry (the spicer the food, the better, actually), and I like lentils (really).

I had seen a lot of versions of a curried lentil and potato dish--some with spinach added, some not; some with tomatoes, some not; some with flavored stocks and others with water.  A lot of people liked the recipe that Mark Bittman has in his book, and that recipe looked pretty good to me as well.  (I might get that book, it's pretty straightforward and doesn't seem to require the expensive ingredients other vegetarian cookbooks call for.)  However, I didn't want to follow a straight recipe, and I had perused through enough of them that I figured out what I'd need to do the basic dish.  I just added the spices I wanted in amounts that I thought would work.  I was quite happy with the dish (which is tasty as leftovers), and my friend seemed to like it. So hurrah!

This is the recipe:

1 cup of brown lentils
3 cups of stock (I used chicken, you can use vegetable, beef, or even just plain water)
5-6 small to medium new potatoes (or two russets), washed and chopped into small pieces (don't peel them; the skin is good for you)
1 can of diced tomatoes with jalepeno pepper (or one can of diced tomatoes and one seeded and chopped jalepeno, but I was feeling lazy)
1 cup chopped onion (I used the frozen chopped onion)
1 cup of frozen peas
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
2 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of ground corriander seed (cilantro seed)
A dash to 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger root, peeled and finely minced or grated
1-2 tbsp of olive oil

In a stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat and sautee the garlic, ginger, and onion until the garlic and onion are translucent, about 10 minutes.  (Take a deep breath and smell the deliciousness--ahhh!)  Add the stock, the lentils, the potatoes, and the tomatoes and jalepeno.  Add the garam masala, curry, cumin, corriander, and chili, and stir well, and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the liquid is almost gone.  Add the peas, allow to heat through.  Add chopped cilantro and stir in right before serving.

You can eat this with rice, with naan bread, or another kind of flat bread.  I used whole wheat pita bread.  I also had some plain yogurt on the side in case the spice got to be a little much for me. 

If you don't want it very spicy, use only one teaspon of garam masala or skip that altogether and stick with curry and cumin. And maybe lay off the jalepenos.  But I did like the kick.

This was very filling and satisfying.

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