Friday, January 15, 2010

Generic yet tasty

Not much to say here. Plain foods can taste great when you use spices. Bay leaves and toasted cumin give this dish a warmth or a roundness. Or maybe that's just because it's hot lentils. The lentils and carrots should be well cooked but still have some texture.

Curried lentils, carrots, and spinach over basmati rice

2 TB olive oil

3 TB cumin seeds
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, chopped
1/2-1 c lentils
2 TB tomato paste
1-2 c stock or water
salt to taste
2 c fresh spinach, stems removed and washed


1. Toast cumin seeds. Reserve half, and grind the rest.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over low-medium heat. Add spices (including ground cumin) and cook until fragrant. Add onion and garlic, stir to coat, and cook until vegetables begin to brown.
3. Add bay leaf, carrots, lentils, tomato paste, liquid, and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed, cooking 30-35 minutes or until lentils are soft. Stir in spinach and reserved cumin seeds and cook 5-10 more minutes. Serve over rice. Serves at least 4.

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