Sunday, January 10, 2010

Red Lentils over Quinoa Pilaf

I love red lentils in soups, stews and dhals. Just as the various spices that accompany them lend heat to the dish, so does the vivid color of the lentils perk up the dish. On this frigid day I have been looking for a comforting dish to warm me up, so I tossed some things together and served it over the leftover Quinoa Pilaf from last night's dinner.

Red Lentils over Pilaf

  • 1 stalk celery, diced finely
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1/2 cup of diced carrot
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped (about 2 T)
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • chili powder
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • turmeric
  • hot sauce

  1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the chopped onion and celery and saute for 2 minutes.

  3. Add the bell pepper, carrots and garlic, stirring well.

  4. After 5 minutes or so, when the vegetables have softened significantly, add the tomato and stir well.

  5. Add the red lentils, turn the heat to high and add the water, the tomato paste and the spices.

  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, keep covered and let simmer for 30 minutes.

  7. Taste and adjust seasoning. Here's where I add the hot sauce.

  8. Simmer uncovered another 15 minutes until the lentils are no longer crunchy. You may add more water if you prefer a more stew-like consistency, but I prefer it with a texture more like dhal. I even sometimes use a potato masher and smash the lentils a bit.

  9. Serve over rice or pilaf of your choice.



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