cooking · Lent · Orthodoxy

Curried Lentils with Basmati Rice


Lentils are healthy, economic, and yummy which make them a lenten favorite at our house.  They also cook up quickly and freeze beautifully- double batch anyone? I also love how Lentils take on bold flavors which is what Curried Lentils are all about- easy and tasty!

Who doesn’t love curry?  I have loved it since I was a kid thanks to my mom and Mrs. Kermani.  She taught my mom how to cook with it many years ago, and our family owes Ms. Jane a debt of gratitude!  My Curried Lentils recipe is a adaptation of a dish Ms. Jane taught us to make called Keema.   Keema is normally made with lamb or beef, but for fasting we make our own version with lentils.  It’s so very yummy and a real win when fasting gets tough.

I hope you enjoy this recipe…happy fasting!

Curried Lentils with Basmati Rice

Brown lentils (16- ounce)
1 large yellow onion, chopped into medium dices (save your onion skins for Red Eggs)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
2 large Golden potatoes, diced (optional)
1 can (14.5- ounce) diced tomatoes
Any Curry you like- 2-3 tablespoons (your preference)
Dhana Jeera powder- 1 tablespoon (optional)
Cumin- 1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil, enough to fully emulsify the spices, 4-5 tbs. maybe more?

Basmati Rice
Mango Pickles
Coriander Chutney
Naan Bread or Tortillas

In a large frying pan heat oil to medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook until the onions begin to soften.  Add the spices and stir until the spices are fully emulsified in the oil. If you need more oil to do this add more.  Stir and cook the mixture  for about 2 minutes.  Add the Lentils and stir until all of the lentils are coated with the spice mixture.  Add enough water to fully cover the lentils.  Bring this mixture to a rapid boil.  Reduce to low heat and let the lentils cook slowly.  Let cook for about 15 minutes then add potatoes.  When the lentils and potatoes are at the desired texture add the canned tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  This will help the Lentils not break open or become too mushy.

When finished serve over Basmati rice.  (Or any rice you have on hand.)

I also serve this dish with a tomato and coriander relish which is essentially a pico de gallo.  We also eat it with warm Naan bread or tortillas and mango and lime pickles.  The pickles can be purchased where Arab and Indian food items are sold.





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