Wednesday, January 20, 2010

seeing green :)

We are seeing green :) specially green lentils,my favorite thing to eat.
This blog post is specially for Jennifer Leah,who is a big fan of lentils just like me.She asked me to share a few ways to cook lentils.So here it is!
This is a very basic way to cook what most Americans call "Indian" food :) it consists of cooking up a base gravy with onions,spices and tomatoes.Once you get that idea down...you can pretty much cook anything you want...you can add vegetables,chicken,meats etc.
So here it is... first you start out by rinsing your lentils and then leaving them soaked in water in a bowl.
Then you add tiny bit of oil in a wok or a saute' pan.I added 1 1/2 Tsp of olive oil.
Take 1/2 cup of chopped onions and add them to the medium hot oil.Be careful not to burn yourself :)
Continue cooking the onions until they look like this:
Now add 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Bring the heat to a medium low and add:
1 Teaspoon or less of crushed chili flakes(optional)
1 Teaspoon of ground coriander powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of salt(to taste)
stir,keep a container of water handy,just in case your oil is too hot and your spices starts to burn as soon as you add them to the onions.If that happens,then you can add just about 2 tablespoons of water to the pan.
Now, take 1 Tablespoon of fresh ground ginger and garlic( you can use fresh garlic only as well and add 1/4 tsp of ginger powder) I like to use fresh ginger and garlic straight from the freezer and crush them.
Stir.
Now there are few ways to execute the next step, you can get away easy by using (a) 1 1/2 Teaspoon of Tomato paste,
(b) using chopped fresh tomatoes
(c) following my directions :)
I like to freeze tomatoes.I learnt this neat trick from my mom,I always saw her freezing tomatoes...and then taking them out whenever she was cooking.She'd soak them in a bowl of water for a few minutes,by the time it was their turn to be added to the gravy,their skins were perfectly thawed.She'd just peel their skins and chop the tomatoes and add them to the gravy.That way you never see those pesky tomato skins in your food. I do the same thing.
For these lentils, you can use 2 medium size tomatoes.
This is what your mixture should look like.(I added chopped Serrano peppers in there too :D)
At this point, it needs a little bit more cooking.kick the heat up pretty close to High.
After 10 minutes of occasional stirring...tada!!!
Now drain the water out of the lentils.
Add them to your tomato gravy.
add enough water to coat 1" over the lentils.
let it boil,let it boil, let it boil :)
Once it starts boiling bring the heat down to a Medium High.
once you see that the water has come up to the Lentil's level...bring the heat to Low and cover the pan with a lid.Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes...TADA!!!
now sprinkle this with some fresh chopped cilantro and parsley and dig in with your spoon :) atleast that's exactly what me and Waaiz did ! It was delicious.
You can serve this with Whole Wheat pita bread.Top it off with a little bit of salsa and hummus and make a sandwich in between two heavenly slices of your favorite whole wheat bread...the possibilities are endless.
Now...get cooking :) Don't forget to tell me how yours turned out.till next time..Go green!


1 comment:

Jenniferleah said...

I feel so special!! I cannot wait to try this one, I got some green lentils this weekend :D (I only had split red on hand) Your stuffed chicken is on the menu this week my dear so I will be thinking of you tomorrow night!
((hugs))