We owe you all a few things don’t we? Some posts. Some recipes. Some colors of the rainbow?!
Oh yeah, and we need to actually give some of our giveaways away. (Wow, how much did that not make sense?)
So we’re cooking two birds with one stove with this recipe post on Spinach and Green Lentils curry — both the spinach and lentils continue “green” on Eating Rainbow, and the recipe comes from a cookbook that we’re giving away, 660 Curries. First up, let’s pick someone who’s going to get a lot of globetrotting mileage out of this cookbook, shall we?
For everyone else, thank you all so much for playing along, and we’re sorry that you didn’t end up with the cookbook. You can buy a copy for yourself, and for the mean time, we’re sharing this Eating Rainbow-appropriate recipe for Spinach and Green Lentils, with which we are absolutely in love because it’s full of nutrient-rich spinach and it’s really, really spicy when you max out the recommended number of chili peppers in the recipe!
We served this, as we are frequently doing now, over quinoa (rather than rice) in a single bowl. When the curry is combined with a few of the other curries from the book (like Yellow Lentils with Ginger and Garlic!) you can make it an entire fancy dinner.
Spinach Smothered Whole Green Lentils | Palak Moong Recipe
from 660 Curries cookbook
1 cup whole green lentils (sabud moong), picked over for stones
2 pounds fresh spinach leaves, well rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 – 5 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles to taste, stems removed
2 tablespoons ghee or canola oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 large tomato, cored and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
Place the lentils in a large saucepan. Fill the pan halfway with water and rinse the lentils by rubbing them between your fingertips. The water may become cloudy. Drain this water. Repeat three or four times, until the water remains relatively clear; drain. Now add 6 cups water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
Grab several handfuls of the spinach and add them to the pan, stirring until the wilt. Repeat until all the spinach has been added. Now reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentil are mostly tender but still firm-looking, 30 minutes.
Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium, and continue to simmer the lentils, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and the spinach starts to look velvety-soft, about 15 minutes.
While the curry is simmering, sprinkle the cumin seeds into a mortar and add the chiles. Pound with the pestle to form a pulpy-gritty blend. The chiles will appear squished, with their veins and seeds released, while the cumin seeds will look bruised but not completely ground.
Heat the ghee/canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger, and stir-fry until the onion is light brown around the edges, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the pounded chile-spice blend, tomato, and salt. Simmer the sauce over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occcasionally, until the tomato breaks down and softens and the ghee starts to separate around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the sauce to the cooked lentils and stir once or twice. Continue to simmer the curry over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors mingle, 8 to 10 minutes, then serve.