Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lentils with smoked paprika and coriander

I've been pretty lazy with cooking with legumes these days. I've been relying a lot on good old lentils that cook up real quick and take on any flavor you put on 'em.

I usually cook my lentils with the usual garlic, onions, and tomatoes, sometimes I'll throw in some bell peppers, then I'll play around with the spices. Fennel seed is one of my favorites, like in this dish. I like whole cumin seeds too. I've tried Isa's Ethiopian lentil stew with like, 12 spices, and that was great with rice or even with linguini. I really love Isa's French lentil soup with thyme and tarragon too. If I have fresh herbs I'll add those in too.

So last week I really wanted a lentil dish that wasn't too Indian-y tasting 'cause I've been doing too much of that. One other spice I really really love is coriander seed because of its fresh lemony taste -- pretty different from the cilantro herb we all know and love. So with a little experimentation, I came up with...

Lentils with smoked paprika and coriander. I was amazed with the results because I've never used smoked paprika in my life, ever! I'm more familiar with sweet paprika, which quite frankly doesn't taste like anything. To be honest, I only thought of adding paprika for color, so using the smoked kind was a pleasant bonus.

If you have the chance of acquiring smoked paprika, GET SOME PLEASE. Not sure if regular grocery stores carry it, you can try Santi's or an Indian grocery store like Assad's. This is what I use:

Lentils with smoked paprika and coriander
Makes 4 servings

1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
olive oil or canola oil
2 small onions or 1 big onion, minced or in long slivers
4 cloves of garlic, minced
5 egg tomatoes, diced
1-2 tsp coriander seed, mashed in a mortar and pestle
2-3 tsp smoked paprika (don't use sweet paprika, it ain't the same)
cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
handful of cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)

Place the rinsed lentils in a sauce pan and add 3-4 cups of water. Bring to a boil on medium heat then turn down to the lowest heat. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until al dente. Drain.

Heat some oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add in the onions, coriander seed, and cayenne pepper (if using), cook until fairly translucent. Add in the garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes break down, about 5 minutes. Add in the drained lentils and mix. Throw in the smoked paprika and mix well. Taste, add in more salt and pepper if needed. Throw in the chopped herbs if using.

Spoon the lentils in the serving dish and sprinkle more smoked paprika on top.

sorry, crap photo.
but you know what i mean about sprinkling smoked paprika on top.

1 comment:

Jeni Treehugger said...

Oh oh oh looks dee-leeesh-ous!
I'm so lucky I can get smoked Pimentón everywhere here. Hmmmm....something to place in future package swaps me thinks!

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