-this inexpensive yet delicious spicy vegan recipe, which could be a main protein or a combined protein/carb in a bento
Makes 4-6 Servings
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 Tbs. vegetarian bouillon/powder (I use Osem Chicken Consomme powder which is vegan)
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1-2 tsp. yellow curry powder (or some mixture of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, fennel, cloves, mustard seeds)
- 1-2 tsp. of garam masala (a spice mix made of cloves, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, available at Indian/South Asian grocery stores as well as many supermarkets)
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds or ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- salt to taste (bouillon may have already contributed a bit)
- handful or two of raisins
Coat the inside of a tall-sided stainless steel soup pot with the olive oil, and bring to a medium heat. Add the lentils. Stir with a wooden spoon to coat with olive oil and allow to roast for a minute.
Pour in 2 cups of water and all of the spices. Gently stir lentils immediately to make sure none have stuck to the bottom of the pot.Add all of the seasonings except for salt.
Stir gently and constantly. When the lentils begin to dry, add another cup of water.
Stir, repeat as necessary, until lentils are soft and fully cooked.
Remove from heat. Add the raisins.
Serve with couscous, rice, a tofu vegetable stir-fry or alongside non-vegetarian proteins such as chicken, pork, lamb or shrimp. As with most curry-based dishes, the flavors becomes more pronounced over time, making these lentils a perfect side dish in both warm and cold bentos.
Taste to make sure lentils are cooked and to check the saltiness. If they need more salt, now is a good time to add it. If there is still a lot of liquid but the lentils are cooked, you can serve as is or continue to cook and stir to allow the excess liquid to evaporate.