Monday, January 28, 2013

Curried Green Lentil with Caramelized Onion

This simple and tasty dish has recently become my favorite winter comfort food. Like many other recipes on this blog, it was inspired by the recipe from Met Home.

As all lentil dishes, it is very rich in proteins and very fulfilling, and therefore perfect for cold days when we sometimes need a bit more than just a salad to make us feel warm and happy.

This curry dish is made from French green lentils, which may not be as easily available as other types of lentils, but worth looking for and trying. It has not only a very nice color but it also has more texture than other lentils.

It is a basically a curry stew with a red curry paste used alongside the traditional curry. Both curries make it spicy but not too hot. The surprising finish comes from the fried onion with honey and rice vinegar added at the end. When onion is mixed with lentil curry it makes it taste much sweeter. To contrast this sweetness, just before serving, cooked lentil is topped with Greek yogurt and coriander leaves. All the ingredients melt in the mouth releasing a perfectly proportioned spiciness.

Curried Green Lentil with Caramelized Onion
(Serves four)

1 cup French green lentil, washed,
2 medium carrots, sliced,
3 celery sticks, sliced,
1 large onion, cut in thick slices,
1 bay leaf,
1 tbsp curry powder,
1 tbsp ground cumin,
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste,

1 tbsp honey,
2 tbsp rice vinegar,
4 tbsp vegetable oil,
1 cup Greek yogurt,
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste.

1. In a medium frying pot heat 2 tbsp oil. Add sliced carrot and celery and sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Add lentils, mix and cook for another two minutes. Add bay leaf, curry and cumin. Mix and cook 3 minutes.

3. Add 4 cups of water to the pot with lentils, bring to boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils become soft.
4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining two tbsp of oil and sauté onion for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Season with half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir in honey and vinegar, mix and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is caramelized.

5. Fold the onion into lentils and cook for another 10 minutes.
6. Divide the lentil curry between plates, top with yogurt and coriander leaves and serve accompanied by middle eastern bread, if you like.

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