Lentils are such an understated pulse, possibly the most. If you're going to go vegetarian, you'd better be armed to the teeth with the little buggers. They're so tremendously rich in nutrients and fibre and no doubt other goodies that I can't even begin to list. Why? Because there's no time for research; only cooking & devouring!
It's easy to make and doesn't take long at all to prepare and cook. The total preparation should take less than Slayer's Diablous in Musica even without the intro on the first track. Goddamn... what were they thinking?
This particular dish uses red lentils, which don't look as nasty as the green ones when they go all mushy. It is best prepared while consuming a large frosty glass of the cheapest Dutch beer you can obtain, and some crazy/loud music.
What you'll need:
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed & drained. (use a colander - but don't put it in the dishwasher when you're done if it's plastic framed)
- 2/3 cup coconut milk (low fat is an ideal substitute for all those concerned with the health risks involved with coconut milk, and not just being sissies)
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic (yes, from a jar. You can use 2 cloves if you're into that sort of thing)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander (fresh is better, dried is convenient)
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
- 15g ghee (regular butter will suffice - ghee only comes in pound tins)
- 1 onion - chopped finely
- 1 large tomato sliced into thick-ish rings, and then each ring cut into sixths (2 smaller ones, if you're game)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 green capsicum - cut into small pieces (1cm squares look purdy)
- 2 or 3 small red fiery jaloprocitis-inducing eye-watering hot sumbitch chillis chopped into tiny tiny bits after removing the seeds.
Let's take a moment to discuss safety.
It's very, very important when dealing with chillis not to chop them up first. You'll get chilli oil all over the other things. Also, if you're going to touch your nose, eyes, or any part of your face (or even, god help you, your genitals (if you're touching your genitals while cooking you deserve what you get, pervert)) WASH YOUR HANDS TWICE BEFORE DOING SO.
Chilli in the eyes and/or nose is a painfully unforgettable experience. I've never had it on my genitals, but I can only imagine that it's nasty, and something to be avoided.
What you do:
Rinse the lentils, and put in a large saucepan (we shall call this saucepan alpha) with the tumeric and the vegetable stock. Boil this mix for a few minutes while stirring, and the drop the heat on the saucepan to the lowest increment and let it sit with the lid on while you do all the other stuff. You can stir it every now and then to make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom.
Heat the ghee/butter until liquid in another, smaller saucepan (and we shall call this one saucepan beta), and then cook the onions until that point after them getting rather soft and before they get too brown. At this point, turn the heat down and add the garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli. You don't even have to add the chilli if you don't swing that way. Keep cooking until it's thoroughly & evenly mixed, and the capsicum soft. This shouldn't take more than 3 minutes; any longer will cause things to burn a little.
Turn the heat back up on the lentils and add the contents of saucepan beta into that of saucepan alpha, making sure everything is stirred in completely. Then add the chopped tomato, also stirring.
Drop the hotplate back to the lowest increment, and let this simmer for a few minutes and stir in the coconut milk. Keep warm and covered until the time to serve is nigh.
At this point, it's time to crank the music because this bitch is cooked.
The best way to cook rice, and this goes for any quantity, is to use a 1:2 ratio rice to water. (i.e. if you use 1 cup of rice, add 2 cups of water), bring this to the boil, turn the heat right down, and heat until all the water has cooked off.
Combine rice and lentils on a plate and eat.
Published on Saturday, 19 March 2005
By Jimmy Weasel
Making meals for the world to enjoy.