Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ethiopian Lentils

Have you seen that Hamburger Helper commercial that claims you can (with the Helper's help)
feed a family of four, with vegetables, for under ten bucks? The last shot before the commercial ends shows a serving bowl of Hamburger Helper, a small bowl of peas, and a glass of milk. Some meal. Lentils are super cheap, high in fibre, iron, folate and protein. Ten bucks of lentils could feed your family of four for about a month. This is a fantastic dish that gets a lot of flavour from cooking the lentils with a whole whack of onions. The vinegar may seem like a weird addition, but I assure you it completes the dish.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 1/2 cup green lentils
- 3 cups water (more if needed)
- 2 large sweet onions, halved and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 fresh green chile or jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste

METHOD
1. Rinse lentils then place in a large saucepan with water, onions, garlic, and chile. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 45 mins, until lentils and soft and onions have more or less disintegrated. Stir periodically and add more water if needed.
2. From here, you can add in the remaining ingredients, cook for 10 mins, and serve. However, if you have the time, I like to add in the spices and cook, uncovered, for another 45-60 mins. Green lentils are durable enough to withstand a lot of cooking without falling apart. This way you can cook off some more of the water and slowly make a nice thick stew. Then, stir in vinegar and cook for 10 mins, season to taste, and serve.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

What kind if Mitad (or pan) do you use to make your injera? Looks like it tuned out perfectly.

Oraphan said...

Oh, I love this recipe! It sounds so easy and delicious, thanks for sharing:)

Joanne said...

Honestly, there so few vegetarian/vegan meals that would cost more than $10 to feed four people. Hamburger helper has got nothing. These lentils sound so incredibly flavorful!

T said...

I've been looking for a recipe just like this since A) i'm broke and b) I have a ton of lentils! This looks like it will fit the bill. Yum!

Mary said...

This looks really good and easy. Can't wait to try it. I've always got lots of lentils around.

Babette said...

Wow, those lentils look amazing. I love dishes like that. They are easy too make, healthy, tasty and you can serve them with pretty much any type of cereal.

By the way, I tried the Seitan Roast with apricot and peaches from your cookbook yesterday, and I must say this is by far the best seitan dish I have ever eaten. This will be my Christmas dish as well.

White Haired Veg said...

And have you seen how much sodium is in a box of Hamburger Helper? Sheesh! To quote one of the greatest movies of all time, "I don't know why they call it Hamburger Helper - it does just fine by itself."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. I have been trying to incorporate lentils into our diet more. I was wondering what you would suggest serving along side this dish. Also, is there a good online store to purchase cardamom from?

Bianca said...

I had lentils for lunch! Served with some leftover cornbread dressin from Thanksgiving. Yum yum!

mek said...

Love this!

Kristen said...

This looks amazing. But of course, I'm a fan of anything you can eat with your hands!

I'm just learning to be vegan so appreciate all the good info!

Amy said...

At least I'm not the only one that gets beyond annoyed by that commercial. Sad that people believe that's a good deal! I can feed my a lot cheaper then $10.00 a meal w/out eating the remains/milk of an animal and processed crap!! My son is 3 and has never ate meat...when he saw the commercial he said "Mama! What is THAT?...YUK! I was so proud :)

Mai: said...

This is a very welcome recipe in this month of no monies.
It looks really tasty -what can I serve it with?
x Mai
Also, seeing this is the first time Ive commented despite being a lurker since forever I just wanted to say THANK YOU for an amazing useful and informative blog!

dining set said...

I have been trying to avoid red meat. It is an early resolution for me. Your dish is perfect for me. I am now starting to love being a vegan!

Carly Suzanne said...

This looks great! I made lentils last night and there was something missing, but I couldn't figure out what it was. I will use this recipe for sure!

Judy said...

Oh how I love lentils. I have never tried this flavour combo though, I will have to soon!

Vegan Dad said...

Anon,
I use a frying pan with a lid to cook the injera.

Other Anon,
I have never purchased spices online, so I don't know.

Mai,
I make several Ethiopian stews at once so the family can make up a platter of awesomeness.

White Haired Veg said...

There's another commercial airing for Swansn's chicken broth that is truly disturbing. It shows a raw chicken jumping out of the shopping cart and running away at the prospect of being cooked up with store-brand broth, but moe than happy to be a meal if you use Swanson's. Makes me shudder that someone thought this ad was a good idea - even if you'e an omnivore.

kungaa said...

made the lentils tonight; used garam masala instead of the cinnamon and other spices. You are so right; the vinegar was the "icing" for this dish; love it and thanks.

Tom said...

I just made this for dinner and added about a half pound of Shitaki mushrooms and it was outstanding! Thanks for that post. I can't wait to try the sweet potato stew.

Gena said...

I love this richly spiced lentil dish! Looks terrific.

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight... Amazingggg!
I replace water with vegie stock.!
Nice one Vegan Dad :)

Angela said...

Thanks for the recipes! I'm excited to try your Ethiopian dishes this week.
I just have one giant favor/suggestion for the future. If it's possible, could you please note about how many servings the recipes make?
I personally like to plan for the entire week when shopping and it would be nice to know how many times I need to repeat this recipe for the week.
This would make the planning a lot easier.
Thanks for considering it!

Tay said...

This looks deelish, I cannot wait to try it. I would eat this with injera bread...I'm sure I slaughtered the spelling, but its taste great.