saw in tesco world food bit that they had huge bags of these half price at £1.99. i love to cook with beans but haven't really had a go with lentils so any ideas for whats good? also what do i do with them, soak them? thanx
I have a really lovely recipe for garlicky lentil soup - fab in winter but would be good now too.
fry onions and garlic in a deep pan. Add carrots chopped finely and fry for a few more minutes. Add a cup of red lentils, fry for a few more mins, then cover in 1.5 pints of stock. Cover the pan. Cook for, I think, 75-90 mins, then season and add your herb of choice.
My favourite soup actually! Doesn't look all that beautiful but is delicious. Red lentils don't really hold their shape once they're cooked so they're not good for salads etc like Puy lentils. They don't need soaking so long as you're cooking in liquid for a while. They keep for ages in a jar.
I fry chopped onion, garlic and chilli, add a mug of washed lentils (don't need soaking) and stir. Add tin of tomatoes and simmer until lentils are soft, will probably need to add some water during cooking if it gets too thick. Can also add cumin and coriander for extra spicy depth or add chopped chorizo to the initial oniony frying bit.
Usually serve with sausages although it's great on it's own or with rice.
They're also great for bulking out minced meat dishes, you can chuck in a handful or 2 without noticing them flavour / texture-wise.
Curried Red Lentil Spread is lovely. Fry off some finely chopped onion and garlic with some cumin seeds and curry powder. Then cook about 4oz lentils and some grated carrot in just enough water to cover until the lentils are fluffy and have absorbed the liquid. Season with salt and stir the onion into the lentils. Leave to cool and it will firm up. Then it can be used as a vegetarian pate or sandwich filler.
I make the same soup with onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc. There was a very luxurious baby food that DD loved -- it was red lentils, sweet potato and cheddar. It cost around £2 per baby serving! So I made pretty much the same soup as others have described, using as little water as possible, and adding grated cheddar cheese to taste. Then I used my immersion blender to puree. DD still loves it, even though she doesn't really eat "baby food" anymore.
Vegi spag Bol : fry onion, red pepper and chopped carrot for 10 mins. Add 100g lentils, a tin of tomatoes and 600ml veg stock and simmer for 20 mins. Season and stir in some basil and serve with spaghetti and grated cheese. We had this last night!
Or cook some lentils in stock with some onion and garlic until soft, then add some cooked sausages and top with grated cheese and heat through in the oven.
You just add them to things without soaking. They take about 20 minutes to cook, I'd say, in some kind of liquid. Agree with others that they are great for soup. Also, I made this chicken and red lentil curry last night and it went down well. I've tried them in spag bol type dishes, and, to be honest, I've always ended up missing the meat. Obviously a different story if you are veggie.
Dal. Yum! All your curry spices (cumin, coriander, mustard seed turmeric and others if you have (I leave out fennel seed and fenugreek tho), some butter, some onion, some ginger, some garlic and chillis to taste fried while lentils boiling for about 20 mins. Mix together and cook for 15 mins til soupy but thick. Finish with a squeeze of lime, some finely chopped tomato and some chopped (fresh) coriander stirred in. Serve with chapati and natural yoghurt with some mint if you have it.
great think i'll go back and get a bag. we aren't veggie but only eat meat about once a fortnight if that as veggie meals are so much cheaper. so i could use it as a quorn mince replacement almost? will try that dal, we love curry in this house! may even do that at the weekend as my sister is a veggie and coming over for a curry night