Sunday, April 8, 2012
Lentils and Rice: Quintessential Vegetarian Food.
I think a lot of us veggies enjoy eating this basic meal of lentils and rice. They offer a low-fat, nutritious source of complete protein, fiber, iron and other minerals. Switch out the white rice for brown rice and you've got whole grains in your favor. It's very easy to prepare and is helpful when you're short on time and uses ingredients from your pantry. I made this today out of sheer laziness. While the red lentil dal was cooking, I threw some rice, a handful of frozen peas and a pinch of turmeric in the rice cooker. In about 20-30 mintues, lunch was ready. I added some tomato salsa (which works great as a chutney) on top.
Red Lentil Dal
1 cup red lentils
5 cups water
2 TB olive oil
1 TB minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chile pepper, minced
1/2 tsp each: cumin, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala
salt to taste
1 TB tomato paste
2 TB olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
a pinch of asafetida
Heat 2 TB of olive oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Saute ginger, garlic and chile for a few minutes. Add water and lentils. Bring to a boil. Add spices, salt and tomato paste. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
In a small pot or pan, heat the other 2 TB of oil. When hot, add mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, asafetida. When mustard seeds begin to pop, pour the whole mixture into the pot of lentils. Cover lentils with a lid immediately and turn off heat. Let sit for five minutes. Stir in cilantro, lemon juice and season with more salt if needed.