Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lentils and Pie Oh My!

No, its not a lentil pie. Although that is an intriguing idea to file away.
Last weekend I went to visit a friend in New Haven and we made a curried red lentil recipe that she had from a friend and it was fantastic.

Of course no weekend would be complete without making a pie. We didn't have a lot of time so went with a store bought crust and instant pudding but added a layer of melted peanut butter before putting the pudding in the crust and letting it set in the refrigerator. The lesson of the day however was that if you are going to melt peanut butter in the microwave make sure to do it in stages and mix it up. Otherwise the peanut butter will burn on the inside. Burnt peanut butter strangely smells almost exactly like burnt popcorn and that is a smell I could do without in my life.

Curried Lentils
Florence Minnis

9oz split red lentils (about 1 cup)
2 medium onions chopped
3oz butter (very important for flavour)
6 cloves garlic sliced
1 medium carrot grated (though I just slice mine)
2 teasp. whole cumin seeds
1 and a half teasp. whole black or yellow mustard seeds
3 teasp. ground tumeric
1 can coconut milk
4-5 slices fresh ginger
140z chopped ripe tomatoes (or a can but some fresh tomato good for texture)
juice of one large lime or 2 small ones
handful chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper to taste

Fry onions in half the butter, add half the garlic, carrot and whole spices and cook for 5 mins. Stir in tumeric. Cool slightly. Tip in lentils, 10fl oz water, coconut milk, ginger, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30-40 mins. In separate pan, melt the rest of the butter and add the rest of the garlic, fry for a minute or two, and then tip into the lentil mixture. Add lime juice and coriander and leave to mellow for ten minutes. Remove the ginger slices. Serve warm, not hot, with rice and/or naan bread.

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