October 22, 2012

African Spiced Lentils

This recipe was originally designed as a dip, but while I thought the flavors were great, I found the texture to be a bit off putting. Therefore, I adapted the recipe so that the lentils remain whole and are served as a main dish. If you prefer a richer texture than the recipe yields, puree just a portion of the lentils, adding water to the food processor bowl as needed. Enjoy!

2 cups brown lentils
1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 quart water
4 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS chopped cilantro
Cooked rice or toasted pita triangles, for serving

In a large saucepan, cover the lentils, carrot and onion with the water and bring to a boil. Simmer until the lentils are tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 35 minutes. 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the cumin, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cayenne and cook over low heat, stirring a few times, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the spice mixture to the lentils and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve warm with rice or pita toasts.

Adapted from:

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