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dougal, I really like that idea of mixing the 2 types of lentils in one dish. I'll be doing that soon...

I have a friend coming for dinner tomorrow who specifically requested something with lentils. But no soup.

I've been googling around a bit and am thinking a warm lentil salad of Puy lentils, roast cubes of butternut squash, on some watercress, with walnuts. A vinaigrette with Dijon mustard and walnut oil. And, if the store has it, some pan fried cubes of halloumi.

Toulouse sausages on the side.

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I ate at Tamarind a few days ago (a Michellin starred Indian restauarant in London). As part of the tasting menu we were served black lentils in a wondeful spicy sauce. Apparently a speciality of the North west Frontier, these were fantastic, they tasted so different to what i would think of normal lentils. If you can hunt down these black lentils, they are worth trying.

They were probably urad beans, not technically a lentil. Urad gram or urad dal (the dal is the split version, and is usually white because it is usually skinned). Urad or ma is a popular in the punjab.

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Lentils du Puy. YUM. Discovered them TG and love em. I cook them in my rice cooker with a little extra water/stock/wine than I would normally use for the same amount of rice and now have no more burned pans from forgetting about the damn pan on the burner. Turned on many of my colleagues to eating Lentils du Puy as I often take them for lunch.

"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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  • 11 months later...

Cuisine At Home's "Curry Lentil Soup" is delicious. (it uses red lentils). Will PM it to you if you're interested (the recipe, that is, not the soup - don't think it would work). :)

Edited by merstar (log)
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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  • 2 months later...

In the spirit of Klatsch - Don't Shop Now, I eyeballed the bag of cheap brown lentils in my cupboard when I had a craving for beans. I had made a red salsa from the dried ancho/pasilla chilis I kept buying and then misplacing, resulting in a glut. I like the earthy taste of beans and pulses so I simply simmered them in water with salt and black pepper. When they were al dente, I added a big handful of fresh thyme and oregano tied in a bunch for easy removal. As they became mushy I mashed them roughly with the potato masher right in the pan and continued to cook to a texture I enjoyed. They were great on toasted corn tortillas along with the salsa and some avocado.

Edited by heidih
add Klatsch link (log)
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I haven't made this in decades, but some Middle Eastern cookbook has a wonderful, simple recipe for lentils with sauteed onions, rice, and spinach. I mostly lived on this during college, and it was delicious.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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Oh, if only we could PM food... :smile:

One of my favorites, and very easy is Cook's Illustrated Hearty Lentil Soup with Fragrant Spices, from January 2004. The original recipe is for soup, but I often cut back the liquid and serve it at a side dish.

Happy to post my version if folks are interested.

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I haven't made this in decades, but some Middle Eastern cookbook has a wonderful, simple recipe for lentils with sauteed onions, rice, and spinach. I mostly lived on this during college, and it was delicious.

Sounds like a variation of Megadarra. Claudia Roden's classic recipe is on Googlebooks, Page 97. (No spinach in it, though.)

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I've been learning my way around lentils this year. Last night,I made perhaps the best ones I've ever had.

I started out making a tomato sauce in the Greek style (onions, garlic, tomatos, cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg), salt and black pepper, and added the lentils and some water and let them cook until tender. About midway through the cooking, I added some lamb meatballs I'd made up -- ground lamb, bread crumbs (I actually used matzoh meal, as I had some I needed to use up), egg, onions, garlic, cayenne, cumin, coriander, cardamon, paprika, thyme. Baked those in the oven until they'd developed a nice crust, and then gently added them to the tomato/lentil mixture and simmered for about 20 minutes.

Marvelous!

These were the cheapie brown lentils from the grocery. I have French green lentils from Whole Foods I'm going to try in Mark Bittman's recipe for green lentils with cashews.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Speaking of Greek lentils, a couple of years ago I purchased a jarred product from Greece in a specialty store. It was a lentil spread, although the lentils remained whole, with a bunch of other ingredients. I was unable to ever find it again, but I did manage to save the ingredients list and after several trials and errors, came up with something close to the original idea, but probably even better with fresh ingredients, salted and oiled to taste. It's great on a baguette or plain crackers, such as La Panzanella.

The ingredients are: olive oil, French green lentils, onion, leeks, garlic, 1 finely diced tomato, 1 finely minced carrot, one minced roasted red pepper, one finely diced zucchini, olive oil, splash of vinegar. I'm not a major fan of lentils generally, but this appetizer, eaten slightly warm or at room temp, is really good. I had pretty much written off lentils completely until I started cooking with those little French ones. Would be nice served with other middle eastern apps like taramosalata or hummus, etc.

I'd love to know if this spread has a name--I certainly don't remember the name on the jar. I never had it when I was in Greece, that's for sure, and I was not able to come up with anything like it in a google search.

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I love lentils, though at home I tend to stick with the traditional french lentil salad recipe. Cook the lentils with an onion (studded with a few cloves), a carrot, a handful of parsley, a bay leaf, and a rind of bacon. Let them cool in the liquid before straining and removing the veggies. Toss with chopped shallots, parsley, a mustardy vinaigrette, sprinkle with crisp bacon lardons. heaven, even if you skip the bacon.

There's a small turkish restaurant near my office that serves the most amazing red lentil soup. It's actually quite a thin soup but the depth of flavor is amazing. I can taste mint, but otherwise I don't know what gives it so much flavor--if anyone is familiar with similar recipes, please share, I'd love to make it at home.


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  • 8 months later...

Finally, finally got round to buying and cooking the red lentils I've been eying for almost a year. I cooked them in a recipe from Vij's Indian Cuisine that has them mixed with a bit of tomato-ginger-chili masala, and they were excellent, especially when I topped them with a scoop of Madhur Jaffrey's cabbage sabji. An amazing pure veg meal with serious staying power. I had tons left over, of course, so we had the pleasure of having the same thing again for lunch. It was a very satisfying meal, which kept me going through four classes and a parents' meeting. It has, however, done a number on the digestive system - if you know what I mean.

I'm wondering - can dal be frozen and reheated successfully?

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Erin, can you say more about your recipe? it sounds delicious.

By pure chance, I cooked up a batch of french lentils about an hour ago, they are cooling at this very moment. The plan is to use some of them in a salad with tuna, of all things--that from the new Dorie Greenspan cookbook that some of us are cooking from over here. Lunch tomorrow, I will report back.

And per my post not long ago, I now have the recipe for red lentil soup that had me so enamoured. Time to make it again, I think.


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This is what I did - Two cups of red lentils are boiled with seven cups of water, a teaspoon of salt and another teaspoon of turmeric.

While that's going on, in a third cup of ghee, you sizzle some cumin seeds - I think a teaspoon, but I'd have to check. Then add a cup of diced onion. The onions get cooked until they're soft and brown, then a tablespoon of chopped ginger, some chili and a cup of chopped tomato go in. This gets cooked until the tomato gives up the oil, and then the lot gets added to the lentils. They cook together until the lentils turn velvety.

The actual recipe calls for two kinds of dal, asafoetida, and some baby spinach thrown in at the end, so it's a little more sophisticated than what I described there. I served it with cabbage sabji, an incredibly easy to make dish which I described in the recipes that rock topic.

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The red lentil soup that I love so much comes from a small Turkish restaurant/take-out near my office, the Sultan's Kitchen. Luckily, the chef published an excellent cookbook some years ago, The Sultan's Kitchen, that includes the recipe. Easy and fantastic. According to the book, it was served at the James Beard award dinner in 1995. Totally worthy. Good dried mint makes all the difference.

red lentil soup.JPG


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The Spanish dish 'Lentejas' is fantastic too. Here's a link to a good recipe by the folks at Moro in Exmouth Market:

My link

It's hearty peasant food - vary the sausages and try adding some amontillado sherry (a bit like wine is added to French and Italian lentil dishes) as much as you want, as long as they're good quality and the seasoning is right, you're onto a winner. The fat is great if you can get it, but again - fat is fat, I've made it with good lardons and cooked the fragrant veg in goose fat - delish.

Edited by Zacky (log)
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  • 3 years later...

I used up a bag of cheap brown lentils today in a SEA sort of seasoning way and they were really nice. I kept going back and back and depleting what was to be the week's worth of lunch! Seasoning: smidges of dry mustard and curry powder, a fruity dried pasilla pepper, course black pepper, dried onion, roasted garlic, fresh thyme and sage, coconut milk, fresh ginger, fish sauce. I planned squeeze of lime at service but was hoovering up the concoction without....

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  • 3 weeks later...

I hadn't made lentils in some time, but I was returning to some "old" favorites from Modernist Cuisine this week and was reminded how excellent their lentil with cherry vinaigrette was. Something about the combination of lentils du puy and cherries really works well. Cooking them sous vide in vegetable stock doesn't hurt either!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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