Friday, December 16, 2011

Indian Tomato Lentil Stew

Improvisational Meal Planning

While you can certainly make it a point to decide what you're going to be eating for every meal every week, most people are fairly casual in their meal planning. A mood grips them, or fails to grip them, and they decide that to make dinner on an impulse out of whatever they happen to have around the home. Certain foods lend themselves well to that sort of improvisational meal planning, and Indian Tomato Lentil Stew is one of them.

Indian Tomato Lentil Stew

Stews in general make great improvisational meals. You can vary the ingredients depending on what vegetables are on hand, and switch up the quantity based on what you feel like eating. As such, please see the following as more of a guideline than a rule - stews are very personal meals.

We started by sauteing an onion, a spicy pepper, and three minced cloves of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil. We added this saute into three cups of water, along with a cup of chopped tomato and a cup of dried red lentils. The mixture was brought to a boil and then simmered until the lentils grew tender, which took us about an hour.

The Spice WILL Flow

After we were done simmering we added spices. Again, these can be adjusted to taste, but we used 3/4 teaspoon of turmeric, 3/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, and a half teaspoon of ground ginger. For color we added a cup of peas, and let the spices permeate and blend for another five minutes.

We served the stew over a bed of brown rice. The result was delicious and spicy, though if you wanted a bit more you are free to season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, though for the most part that's unnecessary.