When I started cooking more plant-based dishes, I got really interested in Indian cooking. I love how Indian is packed with not only lots of veggies but tons of flavor using fragrant spices and herbs. Bonus –> many Indian dishes are naturally healthy and not that costly to prepare.
My ultimate favorite spice is coriander. Derived from the leaves and shoots of fresh cilantro, coriander is available in whole seeds and powder form. Whole coriander seeds are slightly smaller than the size of whole peppercorns and are bursting with flavor and fragrance. Coriander powder works just fine and is much more convenient. Just be sure to use powder within 6 months from purchase – after that it begins to lose quality.
Garlicky Curried Lentils are delicious, nutritious and filling. The dish contains a nice blend of spices, it’s both savory and sweet, and it smells divine. Keep in mind the measured amounts of spices are only a guideline. Here I added raw cashews at the end but feel free to add another nut or an assortment of nuts. The dish is cooked to a soup-like consistency. I usually serve over quinoa or jasmine rice. Enjoy!
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 3-4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 3 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons each cumin and coriander
- ⅛ teaspoons each chili powder and cayenne pepper
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ⅛ cup raisins (optional)
- Place lentils, water, turmeric and salt in saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and cover pan. Let simmer until lentils are soft and you get a soup-like consistency (about 20-25 minutes).
- In a smaller pan, heat oil, garlic, and shallots for 2 minutes on low heat. Add cumin, coriander, chili powder and cayenne to same pan for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
- Add all items in small pan to cooked lentils in large pan. Add lemon juice, cilantro, and raisins and toss. Serve over rice. Enjoy!