Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lemon Lentils Recipe

This is one of my favorite recipes from Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals. These small lemony lentils are a great lunch or dinner for my two year old who is a little bit of a vegetarian. My six year old doesn't eat them, but that is okay, because I love them. You can serve them alone or on top of rice.

4 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and sliced thin
2 (2 inch) pieces of cinnamon stick
1 pound small lentils (yellow or pink)
2 teaspoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger root
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarians)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp of ground red pepper
1 lemon

Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium-low heat.
When hot, add the sliced onions and cook, stirring, until they soften.
Add the cinnamon, lentils and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
Add the stock, 2 cups of water, salt and red pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon. Discard the seeds. Add the lemon juice and squeezed shell and cook for about 50 minutes longer, stirring often.

Topping (optional)
1 small onion -peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove - peeled and finely chopped
1 fresh hot green chili, chopped with seeds
2 bay leaves
2 T. chopped fresh coriander leaves

Heat the remaining 2 T. oil in a small pan. Add the chopped onion, garlic, chili and bay leaves. Cook, stirring until the onion is browned. Add this mixture, including the oil, to the lentils. Remove the bay leaves. Sprinkle with chopped coriander. Serve hot.