Monday, June 8, 2015

Indian quinoa and beluga lentils (vegan)

Lately, I have been playing around with flavors,that is flavors components mostly adopted from Indian cooking. Indian cooking is very complex so I try to break it down into components or combinations of some flavors that work very well together. One of my favorites are nutty, roasted black mustard seeds with fresh curry leaves, a bit of olive oil, garam masala, turmeric, cardamom and a hint of cinnamon. Recently, I use this with vegetable broth to cook quinoa and beluga lentils in one pot. After 25 min, the most perfectly flavored quinoa lentils were ready that are perfect hot, cold, as sides, as salad, or a huge pile for a picnic. This recipe is a keeper.

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Indian Quinoa and Beluga Lentils (vegan)

makes 2 servings

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 TB black mustard seeds
  • about 12 fresh curry leaves (I keep mine frozen in the freezer)
  • 1/2 mild white onion or 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup beluga lentils
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • some pinches of salt (to taste)

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In a heavy bottom cast-iron pot, heat the olive oil and add the black mustard seeds and the curry leaves. Heat on relatively high heat until the mustard seeds start to pop (like popcorn) and give off a nutty flavor. Now, add the onion and lightly saute until translucent, a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, bring to a simmer, and turn down the heat to low. Cover with a lid, and simmer for 25minutes until the lentils are soft and the quinoa is fluffy.

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