Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spicy Lentils

Digging in my formerly dormant garden.  Trying to make healthier food choices.   Starting a new job.  Spending time with family.  Quitting a part-time job.  Embracing change.  Re-reading Tolkien's books.  Re-watching the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.  Letting emails pile up.  Letting dishes pile up.  Enjoying the sunshine on my face.  Planning camping trips.  Thinking of flowers to plant.

These are all the things I've been doing other than cooking and blogging.  But I'm back and while I love you all, I've also been in love with simple dishes and eating simple meals in the garden.  (Incidentally, I don't really have a garden - it's a huge work in progress, so we eat outside in the driveway looking at what will someday be a garden. :) )  But this lentil dish wasn't overly complicated and kept me from having to make a trip to the grocery store.  As for the cornbread muffins, I just used the recipe that's on the side of the Quaker cornmeal container.

Spicy Lentils

Adapted from

2 cups green lentils
2 carrot, sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 beef bouillon cube (used a chicken boullion cube)
6 whole cloves
6 peppercorns
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 hot chili peppers (I used ancho chilis)
3 cups water (used chicken broth)
1 tablespoon oil

In a large pot warm the oil under medium heat, then add the sliced carrot and minced garlic, fry for about 5 minutes just until the garlic has cooked. Then add the bay leaf, peppercorns, whole cloves and chilies (leave out for a non-spicy version), you'll fry these for about 2 minutes, this brings out or release the flavors and scents of the spices.  Next add the paprika, salt, bouillon and lentils. Stir to distribute all the spices and lentils. Now add water to the pot. (Note for every cup of lentils you add one and half cups of water.)

Bring the lentils to boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and continue cooking until the lentils are soft. It depends on your taste if you want the lentils to have more of a soupy texture than you'll need to add more water. Check on them often to make sure they don't get too dry.

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