One of the best things about lentils is their versatility. They can be cooked and served warm or cold, dressed up as a salad, side dish, or they can become the main event as I have done here. It's great to alway have dried legumes and grains on hand. When you are in a pinch, they can be flavoured and combined easily with any spices of veggies available in the fridge.
What I've listed below are in approximates. You can add more or less of any spice to taste. Yes, I know we all have differently sized knuckles, I promise it will still taste good ;)
What you'll need:
- 1 cup uncooked lentils
- fresh spring or filtered water for soaking
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup more water aside
- about 1/3 of a medium sized onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- two small finger sized knobs of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- one big knuckle chunk of ginger
- a small handful of kale (about 8-10 small leaves)
- freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- fresh coriander (for garnish)
First, soak the lentils in fresh spring or filtered water for at least 20-30 minutes. This short sprouting process is really important before cooking. It removes the extra starchiness and increases the vitamin C content, as well as many other vitamins. There are also theories that the sprouting process takes grains and legumes from being acidic to more alkalising foods. Essentially, we are making these more easy for the body to process and digest. If you have time to sprout overnight, thats even better.
You will notice the water becoming a bit milky and murky, this is a good thing! That means you have drawn out the heavy starches, which you will be rinsing away, and not eating. Rinse and drain completely.
Bring water to a rolling boil, and cook your lentils on medium-high for about 15-20 minutes, uncovered. Making sure that they remain covered with water during cooking.
During this cooking time you can prepare the rest of the ingredients for the savoury sauce. Place coconut cream, water, onion, garlic, turmeric, and salt in a blander and blend for about one minute or until smooth. Thinly slice ginger and set aside. Rinse and chop kale leaves into small pieces or strips, whichever you prefer.
When the lentils are still al dente (not fully cooked; a bit firm but not still crunchy), drain remaining water and put back onto the stove at medium-low heat. Add the sauce mixture and thinly sliced ginger pieces and simmer about 5 minutes longer, or until lentils are fully cooked. Lower heat and stir in chopped kale leaves and cook only until softened. This will help keep the nutrients in tact, but also make it easier for digestion, as kale has the tendency to be very tough.
If you like your dish to be a bit more spicy, feel free to add a dash of cumin and paprika or cayenne pepper.
Serve with rice, quinoa or another one of your favourite grains. This is also equally satisfying by itself if you decide to go totally grain-free. Grind some peppercorns on top and sprinkle with finely chopped fresh coriander for an extra tasty sparkle.
Makes about 4 servings