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spice question for lentil dish

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I just realized that I have (some) vegetarians coming for dinner tonight; I am adding a lentil dish to the menu. I have on hand a good spice shelf and some fresh ginger.

So I am going to brown onions and celery and cook them with French lentils. What can I do to make this interesting? Sesame oil? Especially, any good ideas for spicing?

I also have red lentils on hand, I could do something with them instead of the French lentils.

Menu:

1st course:

Curried carrot/ coconut milk soup

Main:

Cabbage stuffed with lamb and Moroccan spices in red sauce
Rice and chickpeas with a different blend of Moroccan spices and a cartload of chopped parsley
mini zucchini, steamed

Dessert:

Chocolate torte

Any suggestions?

(We don't eat like this every night; it's the Sabbath.)

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  1. Since it appears the lentils will be the main dish for the vegetarians, I'd stay in the same flavor family and add Indian spices to the lentils: coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala if you have it. Would crisp onions for on top and maybe add some naan, which would also go well with the lamb.

    1. You already have legumes with the rice.

      How about seasoning the French lentils as a salad? du Puy stay distinct and so work especially well in salad (as do the little black ones)

      e.g.
      http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2006/11/...

      1. My favorite red lentil dish (and actually the first time I'd ever cooked lentils actually came from Cooking Light magazine.

        http://community.cookinglight.com/arc...

        You'll have to find or make berbere but it's so good. I've made it with both regular onions and red onions. Yum.

        1. Thank you. I did cooked the French lentils with bay leaves and served them as a salad with chopped celery in Dijon vinaigrette. Served at room temperature. It was so fabulous! Thank you for the rescue.

          1. I've been making French lentils cooked with carrots, celery and onions. They are so flavorful with just a little salt and pepper I don't think you really need to add much to them. They pick up a really sweet note from the carrots and onions. I have eaten this as a main course on a few occasions.