As a (somewhat picky) vegetarian, I have a hard time in pursuit of that "perfect vego recipe." The recipe must be easy (you're looking at a girl who once managed to mangle banana pancakes and almost set the kitchen on fire!), relatively fast, and fit into my very narrow tastes ( no peas, olives, or artichoke, basically). My fussiness and general lack of culinary skill narrows the choices somewhat, so imagine my delight when I found this treasure.
Predictably, I found the answer in Indian food. Ah, glorious delicious Indian food, adapted to suit my Western intolerance to really spicy things. You really can't go wrong with lentils and garlic! I love this simple recipe- it's addictive, can be made (or modified) with the ingredients in the cupboard, and even I haven't managed to mess it up. Make it with the kids or partner, for a dinner party, or just for yourself- you'll find it hard not to eat it all!
Serve with plain yoghurt, chutney, and rice or naan.
Vegetable oil Salt and pepper 1 chopped onion 2-4 garlic crushed cloves 1 long red, finely chopped chilli (though may be a touch strong for little mouths- can be taken out)
2 tsp grated ginger, fresh 1 can diced/chopped tomatoes 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock (store-bought is good, but tastes great if home made)
1 tsp of cumin, ground
-1/2 tsp turmeric
-Chopped fresh coriander (1/4 cup)
-1/2 cup red lentils, 1/2 cup green lentils- rinsed, soaked
What you'll need to do: (timing gets tricky what with all the onion frying, so doing a little preparation before helps to de-stress)
1. Rinse the lentils, let soak in water until needed (makes cooking quicker.)
2. Chop onion, ginger, garlic, chilli- combine in bowl. Mix cumin and turmeric together in bowl.
3. Prepare stock, ready for pouring.
4. Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan on high heat- saute onion, garlic, ginger, chilli for 3 or 4 mins. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC!
5. Add cumin and turmeric, stir together for 1 min- the house will smell amazing.
6. Pour in tomatoes, stock and lentils (drained first). Bring to the boil, and cover.
7. Stir every 5ish mins for 30-40 mins, until lentils fairly tender. If beginning to burn, stir in a little water every once in a while. Mix in coriander.
This is a seriously easy recipe and so good too. If you want, you can throw in some split peas, fennel seeds, or more herbs/spices. Delicious in the cold weather. Enjoy, my fellow picky vegos!