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Best Lentil Recipe?

Tom P Jan 6, 2010 11:39 AM

I have a couple of standard recipes, but am looking to branch out. Thanks!

  1. nomadchowwoman Jan 6, 2010 12:30 PM

    Here's a link to one of my favorite recipes from Madhur Jaffrey. I absolutely love it--cold, room temp., hot. It is a great side for so many different main course offerings. It is perfect for a picnic. And although it is an Indian preparation, it contains none of the hot spices, whole spices, or exotic flavors that scare so many people off Indian cuisine. In fact, I never mention that it is Indian when I serve it, and even the fussiest eaters enjoy it.

    Tip: I always use French green lentils, which hold their shape so well, and this makes all the difference.


    31 Replies
    1. re: nomadchowwoman
      Bada Bing Jan 16, 2010 01:27 PM

      So for the Jaffrey recipe, you really simmer and then eat unground cumin seeds?

      1. re: Bada Bing
        nomadchowwoman Jan 20, 2010 07:13 PM

        It's only 1/2 tsp., in what ends up being about 5 cups or more of the finished dish, and to be honest, I've never noticed them. If the idea bothers you, you could grind them first, I guess. But this simple dish is incredibly delicious.

        1. re: Bada Bing
          Rasam Jan 23, 2010 07:32 PM

          Whole cumin seeds are common in Indian cuisine.

          1. re: Rasam
            weezycom Jan 27, 2010 04:41 PM

            I just made this tonight. OMG, truly glorious in its simplicity. Thanks, nomadchowwoman!

            The seeds are fine -- they add just a tiny bit of crunch, but not much (I was going from memory on the recipe and added 1/2 Tbls instead of 1/2 tsp -- still delish -- but that might have made a difference in the crunch factor).

            1. re: weezycom
              nomadchowwoman Jan 28, 2010 07:23 AM

              I know. Every time I make this, I'm stunned at how much flavor comes from this simplest of recipes. I try to keep some on hand most of the time. A couple of spoonfuls alongside a sandwich or as a snack--so delicious, nutritious, and filling. It really helps, too, in controlling portions of more caloric things on the plate.

              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                Tom P Jan 28, 2010 02:27 PM

                Ok, I just made this and am loving it. I doubled it, and used homemade vegetable broth rather than water (which I had on hand ... I often use broth rather than water in recipes that call for water). I also probably spiced it up a bit more. But they just finished and are warm and comforting and delicious. I will be curious to try them at room temp as well. Thanks for this!

                1. re: Tom P
                  nomadchowwoman Jan 28, 2010 02:29 PM

                  Funny, I'm cooking them right now too--using some leftover chicken stock this time.

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                    Tom P Jan 28, 2010 02:59 PM

                    I have a lot of onion, and some fennel. So I may do them again this weekend, when this pot runs out, and try adding some chopped fennel with the onion...

        2. re: nomadchowwoman
          cinnamon girl Feb 8, 2010 02:30 PM

          Those lentils are delicious. I halved the recipe, added one carrot (small dice), lightly crushed the cumin seeds, and used tobasco and pimente d'espellette (no cayenne). It's really good hot ... am looking forward to a room-temp snack later this evening. Thanks Nomadwoman. Oh - i put in a "ice-cube" of frozen chicken demiglace too. But I can see that you don't really need stock, which is nice for a change.

          1. re: nomadchowwoman
            janetms383 Feb 8, 2010 02:45 PM

            Thank you for posting this recipe nomadchowwoman! I made a pot this weekend and ate practically the whole thing. So simple and yet extraordinarily delicious!

            1. re: nomadchowwoman
              millygirl Feb 9, 2010 02:01 PM

              Darn, for some reason I'm not able to open his up.....it sounds so good too!!!

              1. re: millygirl
                janetms383 Feb 10, 2010 07:55 AM

                millygirl, the recipe is very simple. Heat 4 T vegetable oil and then add 1/2 t. cumin seed and sizzle for about 30 seconds. Add 4 cloves chopped garlic and stir fry until the garlic changes color. Add one med chopped onion and stir fry until the onion softens and begins to brown. Add one cup lentils and 3 cups water. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender. Add 1 t. salt and 1/4 t. cayenne. Simmer for about 5 mins.
                At this point, I turned the pot off and let the lentil sit for about 15 mins so they were less liquidy and more creamy.
                The cumin seed makes a HUGE contribution to the flavor and I love the bite of the cayenne.

                1. re: janetms383
                  Emme Feb 10, 2010 06:19 PM

                  i have kind of antipathy to cayenne... is it highly noticeable? and do you think it would suffer if i halved it or even eliminated it? or used a little white pepper in its place?

                  1. re: Emme
                    cinnamon girl Feb 10, 2010 08:39 PM

                    I'm not a cayenne person either. I used tabasco sauce and a little pimente d'espellette (just b/c I had it) and it was delicious. But it would have been great just with tobasco. There are so many other pepper items that bring interesting flavour, besides just heat, that I don't even bother buying cayenne anymore. Plus it loses it punch pretty fast anyway.

                    1. re: cinnamon girl
                      Emme Feb 14, 2010 06:38 PM

                      what "pepper items" do you use that being interesting flavour aside from heat? i'm not a spicy fan, but a tad of heat with good flavour is always of interest to me. i particularly don't like the flavor of cayenne... something that developed after a week on the Master Cleanse... ugh.

                      1. re: Emme
                        nomadchowwoman Feb 15, 2010 08:52 AM

                        I've never detected the flavor of cayenne in this recipe: in fact, if someone gave me a taste of this wnd I didn't know what was in it, I'm not sure I would be able to tell any of the ingredients save the lentils and maybe the onion. (I'd probably guess chicken stock--and there's none.) The flavors really meld that well, and they're very subtle. But if you're really averse to cayenne, try a splash or two of hot sauce, or just black pepper. Someone downthread mentions smoked paprika. Try that; it surely won't hurt it.

                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                          cinnamon girl Feb 15, 2010 06:57 PM

                          Oh absolutely - if I bought cayenne any more I could have easily used it and it wouldn't be about the taste.

                        2. re: Emme
                          cinnamon girl Feb 15, 2010 07:11 PM

                          Ha ha . . . I can understand why you'd be off it. I just find it one-dimensional and its heat dissipates so quickly that I could never count on it being fresh enough when I needed it. It depends on what I'm making. I've mentioned tabasco and pimente d'espellette. Also smoked and hot paprika (mentioned by KaryKat), ancho powder, Chinese chili paste (esp in winter when my garlic is crappy or i'm out of it), sirracha, allspice (both ground or whole) while not searing hot gives a bit of heat and amazing aroma, smoked pepper, red pepper flakes, brined green peppercorns, pickled peppers, whatever little chiles are in my market that day whether they're type called for in the recipe or not, dried poblanos (not super hot but good flavor and some heat), tinned chipotles. Each one doesn't go in each dish, interchangeably. And many of these aren't very hot. Again, it depends on the dish. These are some of the items I use to get out of buying cayenne. Btw, I find the flavour of white pepper pretty one-dimensional too; do you?

                          1. re: cinnamon girl
                            Emme Feb 16, 2010 07:28 PM

                            i don't really have a problem with white pepper, but the important caveat is that i usually only use it on vegetables or in simple preparations that aren't asking for complex flavoring... maybe i'll try it in the lentils, along with something else... we'll see.

                            thanks for the other recs!

                        3. re: cinnamon girl
                          Sal Vanilla Feb 7, 2013 12:44 PM

                          How about trying allepo pepper? I am not sure if it is traditional indian, but plenty of Turks eat lentils with it.

                        4. re: Emme
                          janetms383 Feb 12, 2010 09:27 AM

                          I thought the cayenne was an important addition and yes, it was noticeable, but I like spicy.
                          You could sub, but then it's not the same recipe.

                          1. re: janetms383
                            cinnamon girl Feb 14, 2010 03:53 PM

                            Yes, but if it's just the heat level you're thinking of, it wouldn't have been any hotter with the cayenne. I like spicy too.

                      2. re: millygirl
                        cinnamon girl Feb 10, 2010 09:46 AM

                        Millygirl - they're also delicious with a small-diced carrot or two included. I just had a spoonful stone-cold. Just as good as fresh from the pot I made Monday.

                        1. re: cinnamon girl
                          karykat Feb 12, 2010 05:08 PM

                          Wonder how this would be with smoked paprika instead of the cayenne.

                          Seems like it would meld well.

                          1. re: karykat
                            cinnamon girl Feb 15, 2010 07:12 PM

                            I think the earthiness of it would go beautifully with the lentils.

                      3. re: nomadchowwoman
                        BigSal Mar 9, 2010 05:39 PM

                        Thanks for sharing this recipe. I just made it tonight and served it with brown rice and some roasted carrots for color. Such a simple and flavorful dish. And best of all I can have it for dinner tomorrow too!

                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                          Bada Bing Mar 14, 2010 12:59 PM

                          Okay, I just made this and it is truly remarkable how good something so simple can taste. I used ghee for most of the oil, and I added a very un-Hindu dollop of beef glace into the water. Oh, and the merest bit of fish sauce. Really terrific. Thanks!

                          1. re: Bada Bing
                            nomadchowwoman Mar 14, 2010 01:15 PM

                            Believe me, I thank Madhur Jaffery quite often for this gift! I'm planning a duck dinner for friends next week, and those lentils will round out the menu. Asked to bring something vegan-friendly to a pot luck a couple of weeks ago--voila! And the recipe responds well to so many variations, as you've found.
                            (And it's so darned healthy!)

                          2. re: nomadchowwoman
                            The Dairy Queen Jul 30, 2011 04:32 PM

                            Hey, except for the cumin seeds, this recipe is very similar to one in Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, the August 2011 COTM! I can't wait to try it.

                            She also builds on this recipe for one called "Lentils Topped with Gingery Spinach and Yogurt" and another called "Lentils Topped with Garlic Mushrooms."




                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                              DrMag Jan 16, 2012 10:08 AM

                              Just made this, with the addition of 5-6 sliced garlic cloves, which I simmered in the oil until they were just colored. Awesome! I just need the self control to not eat it all now!

                              1. re: DrMag
                                nomadchowwoman Jan 16, 2012 02:00 PM

                                So much better for you than eating, say, a whole pan of brownies ; )

                            2. r
                              rainey Jan 6, 2010 12:57 PM

                              I like this Red Lentil Curry. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Red-Lent... It's quick and easy to prepare and extremely tasty.

                              And this Mulligatawny Soup which is my own version of a Sarah Mouton recipe is the best I've ever had anywhere:

                              Mulligatawny Soup

                              • 2 tablespoon ghee or canola oil
                              • 1 large onion, chopped
                              • 6 clove garlic, chopped
                              • 3 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
                              • 1 jalapeõ chile, stemmed, seeded and chopped
                              • 1 tablespoon ground corriander
                              • 2 tablespoon ground cumin
                              • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
                              • 1/4 cup all purpose or garbanzo flour
                              • 1 3/4 cup red lentils
                              • 9 cup chicken stock
                              • 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
                              • 1 cup low-fat unsweetened coconut milk
                              • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
                              • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
                              • freshly ground pepper

                              Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño and cook, stirring, until browned, about 12 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, stir in the coriander, cumin and turmeric. Cook until fragrant, stirring, for 45 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute more.

                              Pour in about 2 cups of broth and cook with the veggie until they're soft. Using a stick blender, whirl until as smooth as possible. Add the rest of the broth and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Add the lentils to the thickened broth, lower the heat and simmer, covered, until very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

                              When the lentil mixture has cooled some, puree until about 85% smooth using an immersion blender. Stir in the cilantro. Return to the heat and bring back to a medium temperature.

                              Whisk in the coconut milk, lemon juice, and salt. Season to taste with pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.


                              • Really delicious soup that improves with time and is also interesting served cold in the summer.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: rainey
                                Rasam Jan 6, 2010 01:03 PM

                                Bittman in today's NYT has a set of lentil recipes:


                                I haven't tried any, but many of his Indian-y ones in this group I feel would be improved by adding a souring agent: e.g. tomatoes, or tamarind.

                                1. re: Rasam
                                  megmosa Jan 6, 2010 01:59 PM

                                  I really like Bittman's lentil soup recipe from How to Cook everything making it with the spicy variation. It is spicy and gingery. Very good!

                                2. re: rainey
                                  Vetter Jan 16, 2010 11:47 AM

                                  This recipe so intrigues me! Thank you for sharing. It's very rare that a lentil soup gets bookmarked at my house.

                                  1. re: rainey
                                    cinnamon girl Feb 8, 2010 12:35 PM

                                    This soup looks delicious - not unlike the mulligatawny in Madhur J's first book which had lamb instead of lentils. Except for the coconut milk that is. Is it a good texture before adding the coconut milk Rainey? I'd like to make this but am trying to avoid coconut milk these days.

                                  2. i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Jan 6, 2010 01:10 PM

                                    I love Ina Garten's stewed lentils and tomatoes. It is so, so easy to whip up and really comforting on a cold night.


                                    1. ChristinaMason Jan 6, 2010 01:49 PM

                                      Care11 has a nice-looking lentil soup recipe: http://cookwithcare.blogspot.com/2010...

                                      1. Channa Jan 6, 2010 02:03 PM

                                        I'm rather keen on Ottolenghi's spiced red lentils at the moment. It calls for a long list of ingredients, but the dish absolutely bursts with flavour.


                                        1. Tom P Jan 6, 2010 05:35 PM

                                          These are wonderful, everyone, thanks !

                                          1. nofunlatte Jan 6, 2010 05:55 PM

                                            I like the lentils with wine-glazed vegetables in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Here's a link to the recipe (from a blog, although it is the recipe from the Madison book).


                                            1. GretchenS Jan 6, 2010 06:18 PM

                                              Lots of these look good. The one critical thing for any lentil recipe is some acid -- citrus juice, vinegar, what have you. Anytime lentils are sort of meh they can be lifted with a good squirt of lemon or vinegar.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                Val Jan 6, 2010 06:20 PM

                                                yep, Gretchen, I LOVE balsamic vinegar with lentils especially!

                                                1. re: Val
                                                  southernitalian Feb 8, 2010 12:42 PM

                                                  I think balsamic vinegar works really well with lentils too. I make a cold lentil salad with diced, lightly sauteed celery, carrots, red onion and garlic. Add cooked cooled lentils, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parsely, S&P. Sometimes I serve with crumbled feta and black kalamata olives on the side. So good. But I usually add a splash of balsamic vinegar to lentil soup too.

                                              2. Vetter Jan 16, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                My very favorite is mujadara (or mujadarrah, etc--lots of spellings). Caramelize a whole mess of onions. IMHO, more is better. Use a lot of olive oil-- it's the main flavor ingredient in this dish, that lovely oniony olive oil. Cook lentils (red wouldn't work well; I prefer the french green, black, or even plain ugly brown) in with the rice you like. Make sure you add good salt. I usually use a brown basmati-- and I take it a step further and often boil them together, giving the rice a head start. This is comfort food, not pretty food. Sneak fresh ground pepper in there somewhere. Cumin is good too. Get bowl. Put onions on top of rice and lentils. Add healthy dollop of harissa--store bought is fine. If you've got a lemon around, you could add a squeeze. If you've got a little plain yogurt or sour cream around, a dollop of that is nice too.

                                                What amazes me about this dish is that you can skip all seasonings but salt and still have an interesting meal.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: Vetter
                                                  nomadchowwoman Jan 20, 2010 07:20 PM

                                                  Mujaddrah--or however it's spelled--believed by some to be what the biblical Esau's potage was, is one of life's simple pleasures. In my student days, I made it often, as it was so filling, economical, and healthy. The caramelized onions and a squirt of lemon really make this dish.

                                                  1. re: Vetter
                                                    blizzardgirl33 Jan 23, 2010 03:04 PM

                                                    I make a dish like this too. I cook my lentils with lots of chopped fresh ginger and serve them with rice, carmelized onions, and a dash of soy sauce. Easy and tasty!

                                                    1. re: Vetter
                                                      bear Jan 23, 2010 03:56 PM

                                                      So true. Mujaddara is so much more than the sum of it's parts. I add a little cumin, and just a pinch of cinnamon and allspice (barely detectable), along with generous amounts of salt, pepper and carmelized onions, with regular brown lentils and long-grained rice. It's a pretty good approximation of the version at our favorite little Lebanese place in the Boston area.

                                                      1. re: bear
                                                        Rasam Jan 23, 2010 07:35 PM

                                                        Mujaddara is the first cousin of the Indian khichdis, and there is no comfort food to beat this genre of dish on the planet :), dressed up or down.

                                                        1. re: bear
                                                          cheesehead in recovery Jan 28, 2010 05:16 PM

                                                          i really like the Mujaddra (sp) that they have at Sevan... in Watertown. But I think it may be made with Bulgar.... I'd be curious to get their recipe..... if someone knows what the secret ingredients are...please share.

                                                        2. re: Vetter
                                                          Ima Wurdibitsch Feb 5, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                          Wonderful comfort food. I like to top mine with a few diced, pickled jalepenos.

                                                        3. mariacarmen Jan 16, 2010 02:38 PM

                                                          French lentils at room temperature or cold, arugula, avocado slices, hard boiled egg quarters, mixed gently together with a lemon/dijon/shallot vinaigrette, salt, pepper. THE. BEST. SALAD. EVER.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                            GretchenS Feb 9, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                            mariacarmen, I read your salad recipe this morning and had everything on hand so I made it for lunch, exactly as you said but adding shreds of raddichio as well for the color. Outstanding! My only complaint is that I ate too much of it. Can't wait to have some more tomorrow -- thanks!

                                                            1. re: GretchenS
                                                              mariacarmen Feb 10, 2010 10:55 PM

                                                              Yay! i'm so happy people are enjoying it! Radicchio sounds like a good addition too...
                                                              And i usually cool the lentils, in response to cinnamon girl, but either way is good.

                                                            2. re: mariacarmen
                                                              cinnamon girl Feb 9, 2010 01:25 PM

                                                              Do you dress the lentils while they're still warm? I love all those things.

                                                              1. re: cinnamon girl
                                                                GretchenS Feb 9, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                I did. I had a package of those TJ's cryovac'd steamed lentils in the fridge that had been there awhile "in case of emergencies". I sauteed some shallots and garlic, added a big blob of tomato paste and some chicken broth and warmed the lentils through while I hard cooked the eggs and made the lemon-dijon-shallot-EVOO dressing. Then I put a mound of warm lentils on the plates, drizzled it with dressing, put avocado slices and egg wedges around the lentils, lightly dressed the arugula and radicchio and piled it nicely on top of everything. It looked gorgeous and tasted even better!

                                                                1. re: GretchenS
                                                                  cinnamon girl Feb 10, 2010 10:22 AM

                                                                  wow! Thanks - sounds like it should have been photographed.

                                                            3. Tom P Jan 16, 2010 04:01 PM

                                                              Many thanks everyone! These all sound wonderful! I did the Lentils with Red-Wine braised veggies last weekend and it was terrific. I will slowly work my way through all of these, looking forward to it. Next up, I think, will be THE. BEST. SALAD. EVER. :) Can't wait for the curries, too ... all of them!

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: Tom P
                                                                mariacarmen Jan 20, 2010 06:23 PM

                                                                ooh, definitely let me know if you like it! or if you didn't. ( :

                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                  Tom P Jan 26, 2010 03:44 PM

                                                                  I had it this afternoon - loved it! So simple yet so good.

                                                                  Question... which are french lentils? My Whole Foods, which has so many varieties of different grains and legumes, has a pitiful selection of lentils. Basically green and red. I found some 'Du Puy style' lentils at Gelsons, which I used. I was wondering about all the differences.

                                                                  1. re: Tom P
                                                                    greygarious Jan 26, 2010 04:07 PM

                                                                    DuPuy = French lentils. Indian and other ethnic markets are a good source for a greater varfiety of lentils. Trader Joe's has the little black Beluga lentils.

                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                      Emme Jan 27, 2010 07:45 PM

                                                                      love the TJ's black Beluga lentils. i dry pan roast them over medium heat, til they're crunchy and edible. i serve them as a bed for seared scallop with an orange reduction from deglazing the scallop searing pan and a drizzle of parsley oil.

                                                                    2. re: Tom P
                                                                      cinnamon girl Jan 28, 2010 10:21 AM

                                                                      Puy is the area in France. Du is the partitive: from the . . . lentilles du Puy: lentils from the Puy.

                                                                  2. re: Tom P
                                                                    Tom P Jan 28, 2010 03:01 PM

                                                                    I have to again say, having eaten it three nights in a row at work that this truly is a remarkable salad. Something about how all these specific tastes combine is just wonderful. Mariacarmen, where did you find this or did you come up with it on your own?

                                                                    1. re: Tom P
                                                                      mariacarmen Feb 10, 2010 10:52 PM

                                                                      oops, sorry, just saw this! Thanks!! I really did come up with it myself, and i'm so glad you liked it too! the combo IS amazing, it's really addictive - the textures, the different flavors . . .

                                                                  3. greygarious Jan 23, 2010 08:14 PM

                                                                    I have eaten, but never made, "vegetarian chopped liver", which is lentils cooked with onion, then mixed with hard-boiled egg and mayo, plus seasonings including paprika and black pepper. It would have been better if it had schmaltz rather than mayo, although that negates the vegetarian part.

                                                                    1. e
                                                                      EmilyE Jan 23, 2010 08:24 PM

                                                                      Just made this recipe for the second time. Easy, and gorgeous presentation.

                                                                      Salmon over French lentils with an Herbed Mustard Sauce.

                                                                      I cooked my lentils in chicken broth. I also just use whatever herbs I have on hand...this time, I skipped the tarragon and chives and used the parsley I already had. I didn't have leeks, so I used green onion instead, and it was still fantastic.

                                                                      1. l
                                                                        lgss Jan 24, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                                        Armenian Lentil Soup or Garlic Lover's Lentil Soup from Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass. Peanut-Plus Cookies (contain 1/2 c red lentils) from My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky.

                                                                        1. f
                                                                          Fiona Jan 28, 2010 07:42 AM

                                                                          Tom - a couple of nights ago I made lentils are described below, they were a big hit. I sauteed some minced onion in the bottom of the pot; added french lentils (about 2 cups), a large bay leaf, about 1 tablespoon of fresh dill, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme and 3 cups of homemade stock. The stock was made with entely of root veggies and onion (all the end and bits that were dying in the frig) and I hadn't been sure what to do with it but it was excellent with the lentils. With a bit of sour cream added at the table it was yummy good.

                                                                          As others have said I prefer french lentils and I always add some sort of sour taste or citrus to liven up the flavor of lentils.

                                                                          1. ifjuly Feb 4, 2010 03:51 PM

                                                                            Orangette's take on warm French lentil salad is very tasty and super fast 'n easy:

                                                                            That Ethiopian dish of bright yellow lentil mash, with a name I always forget, is probably my very favorite take, though...

                                                                            1. v
                                                                              Val55 Feb 5, 2010 06:47 AM

                                                                              So long as this thread is still active, does anyone have a good lentil chili recipe? I have a couple of vegetarians coming for the super bowl. I don't care for beans that much, so I thought a lentil chili might be just the thing to make.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Val55
                                                                                JerryMe Feb 10, 2010 10:25 AM

                                                                                Made lentil chili about a week ago. It was a 'wing it' recipe as in I had to wing it and wasn't going to the store. Started with simmering some lentils (brown) and adding: onion, carrots (in the beginning) then canned beans (red kidney and chili beans - drained the kidneys but not the chili) chili powder and cumin. Something else - maybe tomatoes and a tomato paste. Simmered 'till lentils were done and served with cornbread muffins. Served the next day with rice and eventually leftovers went into chili omelets. Made a LOT and it was very good. Sorry I don't have a specific but give it a whirl!

                                                                                Oh! I just remembered - a touch of cocoa powder. Darkens it and adds a 'something'

                                                                              2. s
                                                                                Snorkelvik Feb 5, 2010 08:06 AM

                                                                                I'm making this one tomorrow. Looks delicious & has lots of positive feedback.


                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Snorkelvik
                                                                                  Val55 Feb 5, 2010 08:15 AM

                                                                                  It looks good to me too, but not exactly vegetarian.

                                                                                  1. re: Val55
                                                                                    honeybea Feb 6, 2010 03:56 PM

                                                                                    I made this one (simply recipes) with vege stock and no meat. I did add extra vinegar.It was really good.

                                                                                    1. re: honeybea
                                                                                      Snorkelvik Feb 12, 2010 10:50 AM

                                                                                      I made it the other day, skipped the bacon, and used homemade chix stock & sweet italian sausage. Really good!!! Nice flavors, and I added extra cider vinegar too. Bumped it to the next level.

                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  sholli Feb 5, 2010 10:22 AM

                                                                                  Warm french lentil salad w/ bacon, shallots, and spinach (with or without the egg on top)--truly an amazing combination: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo....

                                                                                  1. Divamac Feb 8, 2010 06:05 PM

                                                                                    My husband and I are hooked on a very simple lentil and sausage dish. It's very forgiving and always delicious and comforting.

                                                                                    Saute a couple of cloves of chopped garlic, one chopped large onion and a couple of diced carrots (and celery if you've got it) in some olive oil in a large saucepan until the onions are translucent. Add 1 cup of rinsed brown lentils and a few cups of vegetable broth (can use water - add some salt if using water). Simmer 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

                                                                                    Meanwhile, fry up 1 pound of link sausage (any kind will do, but I usually use sweet italian). Remove the sausage when it is thoroughly cooked. Keep warm.

                                                                                    When the lentils are done, deglaze the sausage pan with a little veggie broth (or wine) and add the lentils to infuse them with the sausage flavor. Season with salt and pepper, a splash of red vinegar (or wine, or vermouth) and tarragon (fresh is great, but Penzy's dried is also great).

                                                                                    Slice the sausage on the bias and serve atop a bowl of yummy lentils. You can also remove the sausage from the casings before cooking and mix the cooked sausage into the lentils.

                                                                                    Wonderful with some bread and a glass of wine.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Divamac
                                                                                      cinnamon girl Feb 8, 2010 06:32 PM

                                                                                      Sausage and lentil is delicious. I routinely make something very similar but dress the warm lentils with a very mustardy vinaigrette. Sometimes if the sausage is lightly smoked, I cook it right in the lentils and they get a bit of the smokey flavour. Carrot (preferably small dice b/c the lentils are small) is perfect in it. If I have a parsnip I put that in too.

                                                                                      Will definitely being trying yours!

                                                                                      1. re: cinnamon girl
                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Feb 11, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                                                        Yes, lentils and sausage is a wonderful combination. And I can't wait to try a mustardy vinaigrette. Sounds delicious.

                                                                                    2. p
                                                                                      pasuga Feb 8, 2010 06:07 PM

                                                                                      If you can find a copy of the NY Times Natural Foods Cookbook, their second recipe for lentil soup (with spinach, tomato juice, basil, white wine and cheese) is delicious. I ran across the recipe many years ago in the Times, it was slightly adapted from the book in that they recommended using grated Romano instead of goat cheese.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: pasuga
                                                                                        karykat Feb 10, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                                                        I'm making a lentil soup I love tonight that sounds kind of similar. Has the lentils, basil, a bit of tomato paste and white wine. My recipe also has some prosciutto (I use bacon) and chestnuts. Will make a big pot and freeze a bunch for great lunches. Yum.

                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                        Bubs Feb 18, 2010 05:27 PM

                                                                                        This is one of my ALL TIME favourite soups. Such wonderful flavours, so garlicky :) I make it often and never get tired of it.

                                                                                        Greek Red Lentil Soup

                                                                                        2 Tbsp olive oil
                                                                                        1 onion, chopped
                                                                                        8 garlic cloves, chopped
                                                                                        2 carrots, coarsely chopped
                                                                                        1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
                                                                                        1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
                                                                                        2 Tbsp chopped fresh or 1 Tbsp dried oregano
                                                                                        1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves (optional)
                                                                                        2 cups red lentils, rinsed, drained (dry not canned)
                                                                                        8 cups vegetable stock
                                                                                        3-4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
                                                                                        salt and pepper to taste
                                                                                        1 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used the light kind)
                                                                                        Chopped fresh parsley

                                                                                        Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.

                                                                                        Add onion; cook stirring about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, carrots, black pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano and rosemary or thyme (if using); cook, stirring, about 2 minutes more.

                                                                                        Add lentils and stock. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are soft and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.

                                                                                        Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with feta and chopped parsley.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Bubs
                                                                                          Tom P Feb 18, 2010 08:20 PM

                                                                                          That sounds wonderful! Can't wait to try... and thanks to everyone, this is (and I hope continues to be) a terrific thread.

                                                                                          1. re: Bubs
                                                                                            mcel215 Oct 28, 2011 04:26 AM

                                                                                            Sounds wonderful, will be making this one soon Thanks, Bubs.

                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                            appycamper Mar 14, 2010 01:25 PM

                                                                                            my recipe for italian lentil soup: brown 1/2 lb hot italian sausage, set aside. pour off fat in excess of 2 tablespoons. melt 1 large diced onion in the fat. stir in 2 tablespoons tomato paste and caramelize a little. add sausage back, plus 2 cups diced carrots, 1 lb lentils. cover with chicken broth and simmer until carrots and lentils are tender.

                                                                                            1. The Professor Mar 14, 2010 01:55 PM

                                                                                              One of my favorites (besides lentil soup) is a stew made of Pardina or French lentils (both are great) with diced parsnips, rutabaga, and cubes of seared pork butt braised until the pork is tender and succulent. I'll usually use a very rich chicken or duck stock as the base, bit a nice vegetable stock is good too. Some caramelized onions, plenty of black pepper, a hint of turmeric and some sweet paprika (Hungarian...the best kind...you can use the hot if you want it spicier) , and fresh parsely round it out. I make this as a rather thick stew...and it's a mighty satisfting meal.

                                                                                              1. b
                                                                                                blinknoodle Sep 24, 2010 12:53 PM

                                                                                                I know I am bumping an old thread, but I was searching for new lentil salad recipes.

                                                                                                I thought I'd share a great lentil stew to the collection:
                                                                                                Turkish Eggplant, Tomato and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: blinknoodle
                                                                                                  bear Sep 24, 2010 01:11 PM

                                                                                                  That sounds fanatastic! Thanks for posting it.

                                                                                                  1. re: blinknoodle
                                                                                                    calumin Apr 5, 2013 08:11 AM

                                                                                                    I've found this lentil recipe to be really good. It is not salad though. You should use red / orange lentils for this recipe and not green ones.


                                                                                                  2. sunshine842 Sep 24, 2010 01:19 PM

                                                                                                    The French make an awesome one-pot meal called Lentils aux Petit Sale -- it's a cured ham hock cooked with carrots and onions (stick a couple of whole cloves in the onions), a bay leaf, and a few springs of thyme -- then the lentils are cooked in some of the stock from the ham hock. Take the meat & skin off the ham hock and return the shredded meat to the stock and lentils, along with a few smoked sausages cut into chunks (kielbasa or something similar). It's great comfort food on a frosty night.

                                                                                                    1. BabsW Oct 28, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                                                                      I love mujadarrah that was mentioned above, and any number of lentil soups, especially a simpler preparation with some balsamic vinegar, but I also adore red lentils. I threw together a sort of stew of red lentils and quinoa and it turned out to be pretty tasty. My 8 year-old in particular really liked it.

                                                                                                      I apologize for being inexact about the amount of spices. I literally just shook the stuff in and tasted as I went.

                                                                                                      Red Lentil and Quinoa Stew

                                                                                                      1 stalk celery, diced finely
                                                                                                      1 medium onion, diced finely
                                                                                                      1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
                                                                                                      1/2 cup of grated carrot
                                                                                                      1 large clove garlic, chopped (about 2 T)
                                                                                                      1/4 cup diced tomato
                                                                                                      3/4 cup red lentils
                                                                                                      1/2 cup quinoa
                                                                                                      5 cups water or broth
                                                                                                      1 T tomato paste
                                                                                                      onion powder
                                                                                                      garlic powder
                                                                                                      chili powder
                                                                                                      1 bay leaf
                                                                                                      hot sauce

                                                                                                      Heat 2 T olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

                                                                                                      Add the chopped onion and celery and saute for 2 minutes.

                                                                                                      Add the bell pepper, carrots and garlic, stirring well.

                                                                                                      After 5 minutes or so, when the vegetables have softened significantly, add the tomato and stir well.

                                                                                                      Add the spices and let cook for a minute.

                                                                                                      Add the red lentils, turn the heat to high and add the water and the tomato paste.

                                                                                                      Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, keep covered and let simmer for 30 minutes.

                                                                                                      Taste and adjust seasoning. Here's where I add the hot sauce.

                                                                                                      Simmer uncovered another 15 minutes until the lentils are no longer crunchy. Fish out the bay leaf.

                                                                                                      Serve, adding more hot sauce as your palate dictates. Today, my palate commanded a heavy hand with the Cholula.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                        sr44 Oct 28, 2011 10:03 AM

                                                                                                        When does the quinoa go in? Or is it cooked separately??

                                                                                                        1. re: sr44
                                                                                                          BabsW Oct 28, 2011 10:11 AM

                                                                                                          Oh, oops. I put it in at the same time as the lentils, sorry!

                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                        mmmmmmmmmgood Oct 30, 2011 04:16 PM

                                                                                                        I'm totally in love with this sweet potato/lentil/date/walnut recipe right now. It's delicious. I use sprouted lentils that are super quick to cook, but it would be great with regular lentils too. Give it a try! http://www.katheats.com/favorite-food...

                                                                                                        1. n
                                                                                                          ntosaj Feb 7, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                                          Ok so I just tried to post but it didn't seem to work, if I'm double posting I apologize!

                                                                                                          Here's my recipe: http://theconvivialcook.blogspot.ca/2...

                                                                                                          It's nice and light and makes great lunches for work or school!

                                                                                                          Can't wait to try some of these other recipes out :D

                                                                                                          1. w
                                                                                                            whilehewasout Apr 5, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                                                            I have made an Algerian kind of lentil dish with fresh carrots and yoghurt, even the not so much of a spice man boyfriend loved it!


                                                                                                            1 onion, finely chopped
                                                                                                            2 carrots, finely chopped
                                                                                                            2 teaspoons of chopped garlic – I received for Christmas home-made, hand chopped garlic, conserved in olive oil. It has a very strong flavour – amazing! I used this for the recipe.
                                                                                                            2 tomatoes and half cup cherry tomatoes in tomato sauce (leftover)
                                                                                                            1/2 tsp turmeric
                                                                                                            1 tsp ground cumin
                                                                                                            1 tsp coriander, crushed
                                                                                                            150g brown lentils
                                                                                                            1/2 l chicken stock
                                                                                                            1 cup plain yoghurt
                                                                                                            salt, pepper and powdered paprika to taste


                                                                                                            1. In a pressure cooker – sauté the onion and carrots with a splash of olive oil until soft. Add the garlic, spices and tomatoes and stir.
                                                                                                            2. Add the lentil, chicken stock, mix, and secure the lid. Cook for about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft.
                                                                                                            3. Before serving, mix in a cup of plain yoghurt and enjoy with fresh bread or pita!

                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                              blinknoodle Apr 6, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                                                              The Ancho lentil tacos from the PPK blog are incredible.


                                                                                                              1. p
                                                                                                                pine time Apr 7, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                Ive been making this lately--a lot, and we're both not fed up with it yet! In fact, making more today, and the Mr. asked me to make idlis with it (had been making either cornbread or naan).

                                                                                                                Adapted from Eating Well/ Feb. 2013

                                                                                                                Moroccan Lentil Soup

                                                                                                                12 servings

                                                                                                                2 tsp EVOO
                                                                                                                2 c chopped onions
                                                                                                                2 c chopped carrots
                                                                                                                4 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                                                                1 tsp ground cumin
                                                                                                                1 tsp ground coriander
                                                                                                                1 tsp ground turmeric
                                                                                                                1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                1/4 tsp ground black pepper
                                                                                                                6 c vegetable or red. sodium chicken broth
                                                                                                                2 c water
                                                                                                                3 c chopped cauliflower
                                                                                                                1 3/4 c lentils
                                                                                                                28 oz can diced tomatoes
                                                                                                                2 Tbl tomato paste
                                                                                                                4 c chopped fresh spinach
                                                                                                                1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
                                                                                                                2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice

                                                                                                                Heat oil, add onion & carrots, cook until softened, about 10 min. Add garlic, cook 30 sec. Add spices, stirring, about 1 min.
                                                                                                                Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes & tomato paste. Bring to boil. Simmer, partially covered, about 45 min. Stir in spinach, cook about 5 min.
                                                                                                                Just before serving, stir in cilantro & lemon juice.

                                                                                                                Certainly could sub other veggies. I up the spicing some, too. Article says this costs under $1./serving, so certainly meets the low cost issues addressed on some recent boards!

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