Simple, lentils finished with a hint of tempering is the Bengali idea of comfort food. I love this on a cool evening like the ones we have been having this past week. Fall is finally here. It is also the time we start getting the bits and pieces from the garden before it finally winds down. This week, what I recieved was a lot of tender brocolli and then I think it is done for the season. Now, we like brocolli especially when it is as tender as the ones we harvested over this past season, but there are others who will treat it much like Green eggs. Anyhow, if some of them are amenable to lentils, I will tell them to try it, try it, for you will see that the mild brocolli almost dissolves into the earthy lentils leaving them nicely tinged with green. These lentils are best with steaming rice and we also had a side of red swiss chard and eggplants, I shall save the recipe with you at some point.
The kids has gone to a pumpkin painting party and are determined to make carved pumpkins this year. I am generally feeling a little overwelmned at the tought of adding another activity to what seems to be an already packed weekend, so I did not make any promises. We shall see, who gets the last word this weekend.
I did have the first meeting with Priti, who returned my work all marked up, I sometimes wonder if it is some form of self punishment that met me want to go through the process.
Now back to the lentils, here is how I made them,
Yellow Lentils with Brocolli and Cauliflower
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes (mostly unattended)
3/4 cup split yellow lentils (moong dal)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 green chilies slit lengthwise, stems intact
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
1 cup chopped cauliflower
3/4 cup chopped broccoli
1 teaspoon ghee or 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji or kalo jire)
Method of Preparation
1. In a cooking pot, lightly roast the lentils on medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring the lentils frequently until the lentils are very gently golden and smell aromatic.
2. Add in about 3 cups water, salt, turmeric, ginger paste and the green chilies and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook the lentils for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft but still hold their shape.
3. Add in the last cup of water with the brocolli and the cauliflower and simmer for another 10 minutes, at this point the cauliflower should be tender and the brocolli should had broken into very small pieces around the lentils.
4. Heat the oil or the ghee on medium heat until it is very hot and add the nigella seeds and cook until the seeds sizzle.
5. Pour the hot seasoning over the lentils and stir lightly. Serve with rice, but this can also be eaten with hot buttered toast.