Posts tagged ‘Lentils’

Tomato Lentil Veggie Rice w/ Scallion Raita

I got inspired to make this when I saw this recipe over at Cranberry Jam blog and I noticed I had a can of tomato paste in the pantry. I don’t usually use tomato paste so who knows how long that has been there! Anyway, this was a perfect one pot and healthy balanced dish. I made a few changes and also cooked it all together in the pressure cooker.

Here is what I did:

  • 1/4c whole lentils/dal (I used a combination of masoor and tiny French lentils)
  • 1 1/4c brown basmati (white basmati will cook faster and get mushier, so if you use that, you may want to cook the lentils separately and then boil it altogether (instead of pressure cook) so it doesnt overcook the rice)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 red onion sliced thinly
  • 2 big cloves of garlic, grated or chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2c mixed vegetables – frozen or use diced carrots, green beans, peas, etc
  • 3c water
  • cilantro

Soak the lentils until they have absorbed water and plumped up. Then add washed brown basmati to soak before you start cutting the vegetables… you can soak them together.

In the pressure cooker or pot, heat oil. Add cumin seeds, then red chilies, then onions. Cook the onions until starting to turn golden. Then add the garlic and ginger, bay leaf and stir. Next add the spices and then the tomato paste. Then add the vegetables and rice/lentils… stir them to coat with the tomato mixture. Add in three cups of water and after mixing well, taste the water. It will be a good indication of how your rice will taste, so if you need more spices or salt add them now. Pressure cook for 3 whistles or Cover and simmer until rice has cooked through and absorbed all the water.

Garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and serve with raita.

I made a scallion raita which goes with this nicely. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture but its dead easy. Just finely slice 3-4 scallions/green onions, chop a handful of cilantro and mince 1-2 green chillies. Add to beaten yogurt (half cup or so) and add a little water to thin if needed. Add salt to taste. You can add a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal, but I didn’t bother.

Sending to Aipi’s and Priya’s Bookmarked Recipes

Vegetarian Moussaka w/ quinoa, walnuts, lentils

kali orexi!

I still remember the moussaka I had in a restaurant once a few years ago. It was heavy, rich, but delicious! Simply potatoes and eggplant and tomato sauce with cream on top, but somehow it seemed so much more than that. I’ve been wanting to replicate it (though less oily version) ever since.

I decided to mix a few ideas from these three sites and came up with this. Probably a little more complicated than necessary

the lovely ingredients

, but thats always me!

This does take about 2 hours to make, so by no means a quick dinner, but worth it once in a while.

  1. First, I soaked 1/4c quinoa and 1/4c french lentils separately.
  2. Next grind 1/2 c of walnuts, roughly
  3. Then I brought 1c of milk to boil with 4 peppercorns and 1 bay leaf. As soon as it boils remove from the heat, and cover, and keep aside.
  4. Chop 1 lg onion (or 2 small – I used 1 sm onion and 2 shallots) and few garlic cloves. Saute in olive oil (sprinkle w/ salt) until translucent. Once onions are cooked add the drained lentils and 1.5c of water. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. (20-25 mins)**

    French lentils... see the pretty pattern?

  5. Slice 1 large eggplant in 1/4 -1/2 inch slices and place on a baking sheet. Liberally coat with olive oil on both sides with a brush or fingers. Eggplant loves olive oil!  Broil in the oven 5 minutes per side (flip over after first five minutes).
  6. Slice 2 large potatoes in 1/4 inch or less slices, and lay on a towel, because they may release some water. Pat dry and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes per side. Be careful not to burn them. You get to eat the ones with the burnt edges but try to keep yourself from eating too many of the good ones, if you are like me! {After broiling the vegs, set the oven to 375.}
  7. **After cooking the lentils for 20 minutes, check to see that they are nearly cooked but not completely. Now, add the drained quinoa to this along with dried Greek herbs. Cover and cook another 20 minutes.
  8. Grind tomatoes with fresh Greek herbs such as thyme, oregano. (I used 14 oz can of peeled

    perfectly roasted potatoes

    tomatoes in tomato puree I may use more next time because I loveee tomatoes)

  9. Once quinoa and lentils are cooked, and all liquid is absorbed, mix with walnuts, tomato puree, salt, chili powder, 1/4tsp allspice, black pepper.
  10. Coat baking dish with olive oil. You can use 9×13 for thinner version or 8×8 for thicker one.Layer the eggplant then potato, then quinoa mixture. Repeat.
  11. Pop in the oven while you make the bechamel sauce for about 10 minutes.
  12. To make bechamel sauce, melt 2 TBS butter in a pot. Add 2 TBS flour, and stir on medium heat for a minute or two so the flour gets cooked, but does not turn brown. Now strain the milk you boiled earlier, and add it slowly to the roux(butter and flour), stirring or whisking to avoid lumps. The boiling with bay leaf really does make a difference here, gives a really nice aroma and taste. Once the milk has thickened turn off the heat and add some freshly grated nutmeg.  (original recipe says to whisk in an egg yolk, but that is optional)
  13. Grate 1/4c parmesan or kefalotyri(Greek) cheese. You don’t need much at all, you can also skip this.

    quinoa, lentils, and walnuts

  14. Take the baking dish out of the oven and pour oven the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle lightly with the cheese. Put it back in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  15. Kali orexi! (Greek for “good appetite” or “eat up”) 🙂

This is my entry to CWF- Quinoa hosted by Priya at Rajasthan Recipes and Kiran.






And also to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Carrot Kosambari

Sometimes you want something fresh and crunchy to go with your meal. Sometimes you realize you need an extra dish to fill up the tummies.  Or maybe you want to boost the protein in a vegetarian meal. Maybe you need something fast and simple. Kosambari fits the bill. Its basically an indian salad, but don’t think about iceberg lettuce and heavy creamy dressings. This is very light and healthy. If you thought you cannot eat raw legumes, think again.

  • 1/4c split moong dal soaked for 30 min – 1 hour
  • 1-2 carrot shredded
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • coriander leaves


  • coconut oil (or any)
  • mustard seeds/saasve
  • 1-2 green chili minced
  • curry leaves/karive soppu

Soak the moong dal for at least 30 minutes- 1 hour. It should have not have a hard center. You can use hot water to speed the process (I think this is better in a cold climate). Shred the carrot. Prepare the other ingredients.

Heat oil and pop the mustard seeds, then add green chilies and curry leaves and sizzle them. If you want you can add moong dal to this and stir for a minute. Or simply pour the seasoning over the dal, carrot. Add salt, lemon juice, and coriander leaves to taste.


Traditionally, this would have grated coconut (as almost everything in Kannadiga cuisine does!) but I didn’t have any.

Also you can add finely chopped peanuts/groundnuts.

Instead of lemon juice, add a tiny bit of grated ginger.

If you do not want the added oil, you can skip the tadka/oggarne (but still add the green chilies, raw).

This is my entry to Hearth and Soul and Tasty Tuesday.

Sambhar… more or less

This is sort of a cheat sambhar.  The cheat part is the dal. Toor dal is traditionally used, but it does take more time to cook. So today I have used masoor dal(*you could also use moong dal)000000. The flavor is a little different, but still tasty. This particular sambhar goes especially well with idli, but also good with rice.

This is enough for 2-3 people… you could make a bigger batch if you prefer.

  • 1/3c dal rinsed
  • 1 1/3c water
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 red potato chopped
  • handful of green beans chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • half red onion chopped
  • 1/2t mustard seeds
  • hing
  • methi seeds
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1t sambhar powder
  • 1t coriander powder
  • 1/2t red chili powder (or less)
  • salt
  • tamarind (1Tbs size soaked in water)

Wash the dal and add to the pressure cooker with water, turmeric, and the veggies up to and including onion. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. This can also be done in a regular pot for about 20 minutes since masoor dal cooks fairly quick.

Once it whistles, remove the pan from the heat and wait for the pressure to release. In the meantime, heat a pan and add a couple teaspoons oil. I often use coconut oil for health reasons and I think the flavor goes well with Indian food. Add mustard seeds once the oil is hot and they should start popping almost immediately. Add a pinch of hing and the methi (fenugreek) seeds. Then add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Cover the pan for a few minutes and the tomato will become very soft. At this point, mash the tomatoes in the pan then add the masala powders. It will form a paste like consistency and you will see oil at the sides of the paste. That’s exactly what you want. Now, add the tomato mixture to the dal and bring it back to a boil. Squish and squeeze the tamarind pulp into the water and strain. Add to dal. You will probably need to add another cup or so of water at this point (I use the water to rinse out the tomato pan, so I don’t lose any of that yumminess). Boil the sambhar (more like a simmer) for about 10 minutes to cook the tamarind, then turn off the heat. Let it sit for some time so the flavors blend before serving (if you can wait!).

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