Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spicy Spinach Lentils

Scant 2 c. mong dal (split mung beans)*
Generous 4 c. vegetable or chicken broth
1 large or 2 small sweet onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 lb. fresh spinach, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garam masala
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
salt to taste

In a medium pot, combine lentils and broth and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until water is absorbed and lentils are tender but not dissolving. Keep an eye on them and add more liquid if necessary. If lentils are tender and liquid is not absorbed, uncover and simmer until liquid has mostly evaporated.

While lentils are simmering, melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic and other spices and cook for two minutes, stirring, then add spinach and cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted and most of it's liquid has evaporated. Add cooked lentils and mix thoroughly. Serve with naan or over plain cooked rice.

*Split yellow peas or red lentils may be substituted for mung bean, but the split mung beans hold their shape better when cooked. Cooked garbanzo beans may also be substituted.

If you have food sensitivities, be sure to use a brand of spices and other ingredients that you know are safe. McCormick and Penzey's are both gluten-free and usually soy-free (check the label).

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