27 October 2014

Curried Lentils and Raita

A simple recipe for curried lentils.  I don't think I ever make them quite the same way twice, but here's one incarnation that we enjoyed the other night with company.  All measurements are approximate--going by my visual memory.

The raita recipe is what I usually make to go along with curried lentils.  If you don't feel like it, plain yogurt is always good on top too.  But add in the garlic, herbs, and cucumber . . . ahhhhh!  Adds a new dimension to the pile.  Oh, and if you've got any chutney on hand, throw that on there too!

We almost always eat brown rice at our house, so this is pretty filling.

Curried Lentils

1 TBSP oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
1 bay leaf
1 3"-cinnamon stick
1 tsp ea. cumin and turmeric
1/2 tsp ea. ground mustard, ginger, and coriander
2 cups lentils
6 cups water
salt/lemon juice to taste

 Saute the onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until soft.  Add  spices and stir a few minutes until fragrant.  Stir in lentils and water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until lentils are tender (about an hour--if in a hurry, I cook them in the microwave in water first for 10 minutes or so), stirring occasionally.  Add more water as necessary.  When lentils are tender add salt to taste (1 tsp.?) and a splash of lemon juice.

Raita (Cucumber Yogurt Salad)

2 cups yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
small bunch of cilantro and/or mint chopped 

Stir everything together and refrigerate until ready to use.  How simple was that?!?  This is my basic "recipe"--like I said, all measurements are approximate and subject to change.  I use what herbs I have on hand, though if at all possible have both cilantro and mint.  In the summer I like to add a little chopped fresh tomato, and a little minced onion or chopped green onions never hurts.

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