Lentils love

2 Nov

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I love lentils they are in my mind essential for any store cupboard, why? Most importantly lentils are not only a accompaniment for a dish or soup they are a meal in their own right. A hugely inexpensive meal at that Dahl or dal or daal. You could survive on Dahl as lentils are so high in protein, in fact most of India does. You just have to forgive yourself a little wind.

Dahl is a perfect way for you to find your feet with spice and flavours you love. Just remember the key to spice is to roast it in a flat non stick pan from cold until you begin to smell the flavour. Remove from the pan straight away, because burnt spice is bad and bitter. If you want to take it to the next level use a coffee bean grinder as a spice grinder and powder your own spice.

My recipe is not a curry purists version it is more of a homage to the beauty of Dahl and the use of what you have in your cupboard.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4
Cost per person £0.49

Prices are based on sainsburys.com

Ingredients:

  • 400g Puy lentil
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons of roasted coriander seeds crushed and roasted
  • A Kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 chopped green chill
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • 3 carrots diced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • A pinch of pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • Directions:

    Start by making your flavour base from your onions. by sweating them until they are translucent then add all the other ingredients apart from the stock and lentils. Incorporate the lentils together with the other ingredients then add the stock. Just make sure you are careful with the garlic do not burn it. Cook for 30 mins stirring often add a tiny dash of water if the mix gets to dry.

    That is it you have a filling meal. I have served mine with homemade lemon garlic flat bread and chopped coriander stirred through natural yoghurt. Mmmmmmmmmm

    20111102-233056.jpg
    Above is a botanic picture of a lentil plant.
    Types lentils are:
    Brown/Spanish pardina
    French green/puy lentils (dark speckled blue-green)
    Green
    Black/beluga (not actually true lentils; see urad bean)
    Yellow/tan lentils (red inside)
    Red Chief (decorticated yellow lentils)
    Eston Green (Small green)
    Richlea (medium green)
    Laird (large green)
    Petite Golden (decorticated lentils)
    Masoor (brown-skinned lentils which are orange inside)
    Petite crimson/red (decorticated masoor lentils)
    Macachiados (big Mexican yellow lentils)

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