Saturday, September 26, 2009

Curried Lentils and Mom's Lemon Bread

At my sister's request for more lentil recipes, I decided to make this for dinner tonight. It makes a big batch, freezes well and is probably one of the cheapest meals you can find. This recipe is taken from HeartSmart Flavours of India by Krishna Jamal.

Curried Chickpea Lentils

2 C lentils, preferably chickpea lentils (channa daal) (I used dried green lentils)
6 C water
3/4 tsp. crushed ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil

2 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves
2-inch cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod (I left this out because I didn't have it)
1 tsp. cumin seeds (I used ground cumin instead)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 green chilies (or to taste), halved
2 medium tomatoes, cut in big chunks
1 tbsp. canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. mild curry powder
1/4 C fresh cilantro
lemon juice to taste

1. Rinse lentils, and soak in warm water for 30 to 50 minutes. Drain.

2. In large pot, over high heat, combine 6 C water, ginger, garlic, salt, ground turmeric and 1 1/2 tsp. of the oil. Bring to a boil and add lentils. When water returns to boil, reduce heat to medium and boil for 20 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Heat remaining oil in small pan over high heat. Add cloves, cinnamon and cardamom pod. When spices start to pop, add cumin seeds and onion. Cook until onion is tender. Add chiles, fresh and crushed tomatoes and curry powder. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to lentils.

5. Bring lentil mixture to boil and add cilantro and lemon juice. Serve with rice, or thin it down to a soup with approximately 3 C of water. Blend to smooth consistency and serve.

Serves 4 with rice, 8 to 12 as soup.

I also treated ourselves this weekend and made mom's lemon bread. I generally try to only pick fairly healthy foods to bake, but once in awhile will make recipes that are just plain good. And this is one of them. It's super quick and easy to make.

Lemon Bread

6 tbsp. shortening (I used margarine instead)
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
2 eggs
1/2 C milk
1 tsp. baking powder

1. Mix in the order given and let stand for 20 minutes. Bake at 300oF for one hour.

I just realized why mine came out a little crispy after only 50 minutes... I accidentally set the oven for 350oF. Oh well... at least I didn't forget the sugar or baking powder, as I've been known to do on more than one occasion when baking while talking on the phone.

2. When the bread comes out of the oven, pour bottled or fresh lemon juice over the top, to your liking. I love lemon juice, so I douse it... yum!