Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lentils, Lentils, and more Lentils: Enjedra

I love lentils, and cannot seem to get enough of them these days. I have been making a lot of this Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry Stew, which I have posted about before. I am surprised I have not made Palak Daal, my all time favourite lentil dish. The spinach filled lentil dish that made me fall in love with 101 Cookbooks. I hate to admit it, but as of late, there has been some competition for my favourite lentil dish. I spotted this recipe quite a while ago and it kind of got lost in the shuffle. I came across it again a couple weeks ago and could not wait to make it. It is so simple and easy, yet so impressive. I was impressed anyway.

Enjedra slightly adapted from Pride and Vegudice
Serves 6-8

4 medium-large sweet onions
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoons salt
2 cup green lentils
3 cups water (add more as needed)

brown rice to serve with

1. Cook desired amount of rice from package instructions. I used long grain brown but I imagine basmati would also work well.
2. Chop onions as desired. I cut the onions into rounds and then into 4-6 pieces from there. If you prefer them fully chopped, that would work to.
3. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a saucepan. Add onions and spices and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until they are fully softened and beginning to caramelize.
4. Add lentils to the pan and stir to coat evenly.
5. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer while stirring occasionally. More water may have to be added as the lentils absorb the water and some evaporates off. Add 1/2 cup at a time as needed. Cook until lentils are soft and beginning to fall apart.
6. Serve over rice or with steamed greens.

If you make one recipe and one recipe only in 2012, let it be this one. I actually cannot wait to make it again. It is so comforting with the softness of the lentils and the warming seasonings. It would freeze well, making it an even more economical meal. 

Remember when I said I was brainstorming a variation of the Vegan Shepard's Pie (as well as a new name)? Well, I brought my ideas to life but it was not a huge success. I basically changed up the seasonings of the bottom veggie layer, and used mashed sweet potatoes on the top. While the flavour was good, the sweet potatoes were too runny for their use in such a dish. I will most likely try again but not right away. I am not incredibly inspired at the moment to try again. Vegan Shepard's Pie it remains.