Sunday, February 03, 2008

Excellent Lentil Recipe

This is one of the better recipes we've tried in quite a while. And no one even claimed that it would be better with sausage!

There are three main components that all come together to make a really fantastic dish. No one component is particularly difficult, it just takes a little planning and a little coordinating on the stove top. One thing that made things more simple, and freed up some space on the stove, was to use the rice cooker for the pilaf. In addition to the pilaf, there is a curried dal-like lentil mixture and caramelized onions. I wasn't sure that caramelized onions belonged in a dish with Indian-inspired flavors, but I was absolutely won over in the end.

Curried Red Lentils
The pilaf is infused with cardamom pods. I had black cardamom pods on hand and really have no idea how they compare with the more commonly used green, but I can say that they lent a slightly smoky, subtle something extra to the rice that complemented the curried lentils without competing or overwhelming. The only thing that seemed particularly lacking in the curried lentils was perhaps a little heat. The recipe itself actually mentions "spicy red lentils", so I have to wonder if Jack Bishop uses a hot curry powder - mine is of the sweet variety. Nothing that a little chili garlic paste can't fix though.

We oohed and aahed our way through this dish. Something about it just worked really well. I'm also happy to report that it tasted fantastic and actually better the next day, and even the day after that, as I happily brought the leftovers to work for lunch. This dish will most definitely be repeated in our house, especially since we tend to keep all of the ingredients on hand on a regular basis.


  1. Hey I have had this recipe bookmarked since I got the book (yes I finally broke down and bought it). Glad to hear it is getting good reviews--I think anything with carmelized onions is better.

  2. I've been into lentils lately, and this looks like something I should eat while DH is off traveling on business. To him, no meat = side dish. I'm all about caramelized onions too :)


  3. Laura - I'm not a big cookbook buyer, but I have LOVED this one.

    Lori - DH is used to vegetarian cooking - I didn't eat meat for the first 9 years we were married! I've had a renewed interest in vegetarian cooking lately and he's actually enthusiastic about it this time around because of health reasons.

    And yes - YUM to caramelized onions. All four of us are crazy for them!

  4. alysha, i've not been here for a long time and i browsed your previous posts and amazed at the variety of food you've been cooking! keep up the good work, i'm sure your family's getting healthier :)

  5. I have to say that I'm not a lintel fan but this makes me want to try them out!

    I've also linked your blog to mine with an E for Excellent award!

  6. Danielle - You may learn to like lentils yet. Thanks so much for the E for Excellent!