Having vegetarian does not mean you're stuck with salads, three-veg steamed to death and fifty ways to cook potatoes. Here are my favourite fuss-free vegetarian recipes that can be made any day of the week. So enjoy, experiment and eat, eat, eat.
Warning: Be aware of chillies on the menu...
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Simple and Tasty Lentils with Spinach
When we visit family friends Uncle Impa and Nimalka Aunty in Geelong, we always come away fresh vegetables straight from their garden. This time we came home with lovely, large spinach leaves, and my father immediately asked for this lentil dish. I love it too because it tastes good as is very simple to make. So here’s Lentils with Spinach, one of the easier dals to make, except this one is from the Middle East and the recipe is more or less from Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘World of the East Vegetarian Cooking’.
What you need:
* 750g spinach (or 250g); have also substituted silverbeet and bok choy
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 5 tablespoons oil
* 2 (or 4) cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 cup lentils, washed and drained
* 1 ½ to 1 ¾ teaspoons salt (or 1 teaspoon stock powder and ¾ teaspoon salt)
* 1 teaspoon cumin powder
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
What to do: If using a bunch of fresh spinach, wash well, then chop leaves and roots. (I had leaves only, so chopped that). If using frozen, I add the frozen spinach to the cooked dal at the very end. Now back to the rest of the preparation: Fry onion and garlic in hot oil. They add drained lentils and 3 cups of water. Boil, then cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are cooked. If using spinach roots, stir them into cooked lentils, along with salt (and stock powder) and cumin. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until roots are tender. Then stir in pepper. Take off fire, then stir in chopped fresh spinach leaves or frozen spinach. The heat of the lentils will cook the spinach, either fresh or frozen.