Monday, July 07, 2014

India-Style Lentil Stew Recipe

It's Monday again. We try to practice "Meatless Monday" around here. We don't do it perfectly. For lunch we usually have leftovers so if there's meat in it - oh well. For dinner I try to make a meatless dish. (Not that we eat a lot of meat around here anyway so it's not that much of a change from the norm. It would probably be more of a wow-er for my crew if we had a "Meat-filled Monday" but I digress.)

For years I've looked for a lentil recipe. I almost always have lentils around here. I'm not sure why I buy them. Probably because they are a cheap source of protein and I always hoped that, someday, I would find a recipe that we'd like. I've tried lentil burgers and various other lentil recipes none of which ended with rage reviews from the eaters in my home until...

Recently when I was going through paperwork in my cupboard I came across a recipe I had gotten from when I borrowed Family Feasts for $75 a Week from the library. I had never tried it before but I saw the word "lentil" in the title and thought, "Maybe this is the one!" We tried it and it is a winner. Finally.

Problem is... I keep losing the paper that it is on and that is why I am adding it to my blog today. I really like this recipe. It tastes good, doesn't take much time or effort and I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand = winner. So without further ado...

Leftovers from tonight's dinner (I snuck some winter squash in it tonight - yum!)
Indian-Style Lentil Stew
serves 6 prep time: 45 minutes
1/4C (1/2 stick) butter
2 medium sized onions, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced 
One, 1-pound package of dried lentils, rinsed and picked over (about 2 1/4C)
2C pureed canned or fresh tomatoes
6C chicken broth [If you are truly vegetarian you can use a vegetarian option here. I am not that hard core. So I guess we aren't really doing purist "Meatless Monday."]
1T ground cumin
1T curry powder
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
1T minced fresh cilantro (optional)
Salt to taste

1. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat; add onions and cook, stirring a few times, until softened. Add garlic and lentils, stirring for a couple of minutes to thoroughly coat lentils with butter. Add remaining ingredients, except salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are soft, about 40 minutes, stirring occassionally. Season with salt and serve.

We've eaten this on rice and as a filling in tortillas. Both options are very tasty. Supposedly you can also eat it on biscuits but we've never tried that.