Thursday, September 16, 2010

Indian Lentils with Spinach and Eggplant


•1 medium onion, medium diced
•1 eggplant, cubed
•1 cup sliced mushrooms
•1.5 cups whole mushrooms
•3 cloves garlic
•1.5 cups lentils
•3 cups vegetable broth
•2 tsp cinnamon
•2 tsp turmeric
•2 tsp curry
•2 tsp ginger
•1 tsp garam masala
•1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don’t want it too spicy!)
•1 bay leaf
•3 cups fresh spinach
•1 cup brown or white rice (optional)

To Prepare: Start by browning your onions in a large Dutch oven (or other heavy bottomed pan) over medium high heat. Then add the eggplant and mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring often. I really liked use of both whole and sliced mushrooms in this recipe. The whole mushrooms gave a great texture contrast in the final product!

Add the spices and stir to coat, letting the spices get toasty on the dry heat for about a minute or so.

Time for the star of the show – LENTILS! I used light green, but you could use the dark green or black lentils too. Just make sure to adjust your liquid accordingly. (Orange or red lentils would probably be too mushy for this!)

Give the lentils a quick stir, making sure to get them completely tossed in with the vegetables and spices.

Now add your broth. Approximate here. You’re going to want about 3ish cups, but really just eyeball it to have just enough to cover the top of the veggies and lentils. Don’t go too far over the top or you will have too much liquid in the final product.

Throw in a bay leaf for good measure.

Bring the liquid up to a simmer and then turn down the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 30-35 minutes. The longer the better. Unlike rice, you don’t need to be afraid to open the top and check on lentils.

While you’re waiting, you can go ahead and make your rice.

Okay finally – the last step! Once the lentils are softened to your liking and your kitchen smells amazing, grab some fresh spinach and stir it in. It will seem like a TON of spinach, but it will wilt down into nothingness and you will see why we used so much. Stir it in really well, making sure it is all nice and wilted – should only take a minute or two.

From The Front Burner (