This recipe is very similar to the Red Kidney Beans one I did a couple weeks ago, except we’re using dried lentils. Lentils are one of the best vegetable sources of iron. This makes them an important part of a vegetarian diet, and useful for preventing iron deficiency. I usually make lentils in batches, so I could enjoy some that day and freeze the rest for later use, especially since it takes a while to cook if you don’t have a pressure cooker. I’ve had frozen stewed lentils last up to 3 months in the freezer and once reheated it tastes the same as the day it was first cooked.
Now don’t get “tie-up” (confused) by this being a vegetarian dish and think it lacks flavour… trust me this one will be a hit for one and all. I love this so much, I even have it as a soup… but that’s when I add salted meats to it while cooking 🙂
2 cups of lentils (I used the small brown/green ones)
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
hot pepper (as much as you like) I used a small habanero
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion sliced
water (see in directions)
1/2 teaspoon Caribbean style “browning”
2 table spoon chopped shado beni or cilantro
1 scallion (diced thin)
1/2 tablespoon Golden Ray butter (optional, but adds that true island flavour so I could not leave this out)
You can also add the following ingredients during the slow cooking process to add a bit more body and flavour to the dish.
2 carrots diced
1 bell pepper diced
1 tomato diced
Get started by going through the lentils to ensure that there’s nothing foreign between it (I’ve seen little pebbles and twigs at times). Then pour the lentils into a bowl and wash with cool water (drain), after which I add enough water to the bowl to cover the lentils and allow to soak for a couple hours (overnight is best).
The next step is to pour the lentils and water into a deep pot and add additional water so everything is covered by at least 2 inches of water. Place the pot onto a medium heat, add the garlic, hot pepper, salt, thyme and if you’re using the additional ingredients, now is the time to add them. Don’t forget to add the black pepper as well. Bring this to a boil, then cover and reduce to heat to low so it simmers. Allow this to cook for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
After the lentils are tender (pay attention to the water level as you don’t want it to get too thick or all the water to burn off…. add a cup is you find that it’s starting to get overly thick) Get another pot and add the oil to it under medium heat, then add the sliced onions and cook for a couple minutes. Basically until it’s soft and start getting golden edges. Then (gently – we’re adding liquid to hot oil) add the cooked lentils to the pot (pour in everything).
Get a whisk or as I did with a swizzle stick, whisk everything to break down the lentils a bit… then add the browning, scallions, shado beni or cilantro and Goldenray butter and stir around. Allow this to cook for a couple minutes and then you’re done. Don’t forget to fish out the twig from the thyme before serving. You’re looking for a thick, soup-like consistency.
This is awesome as a side for rice dishes (must have stew chicken, beef or pork as well) and I also like scoping with pita bread or roti as well.. plus as I mentioned earlier, it’s good as a simple soup as well. Don’t forget to leave me your comments below and remember to connect with us on facebook by clicking on the image below.