Lentils are an incredibly satisfying and nourishing food. They are also extremely versatile. You can add them to soups, use them for a vegan taco filling, make fritters out them and use them to help bind a veggie burger. You can also just make a simple pot of lentils and enjoy them over brown rice or any of your other favorite grains. For me, lentils are a comfort food. I’m not sure how they claimed that place in my mind and stomach since I didn’t grow up with them, but when I want something deeply satisfying and filling to eat, I go for lentils.
Another great thing about lentils is that they don’t take long to cook and they’re not fussy. This recipe is simple and easy and comes together in under an hour. It uses basic brown lentils that are common at most grocery stores and the basic staples most people have in their kitchen.
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. yellow curry powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro leaves
Pick through your lentils to make sure there are no rocks or any other debris in them (you may be tempted to skip this step, but I have found rocks in my dry beans). Then thoroughly rinse the lentils in cold water and drain.
In a medium pot (4 QT) combine the lentils, stock, the vegetables and the curry powder. Bring this to a hard simmer, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and let cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the lentils get too dry, use the remaining cup of stock to thin.
After 40 minutes, give it a taste. Take two or three lentils from different areas in the pot and taste them to make sure that they are all tender. Slurp a bit of the liquid to make sure that the lentils are seasoned well. If the lentils are not all tender, let it cook for another 10 minutes or so. If the lentils are not seasoned to your liking, add salt and pepper to taste. I don’t add salt to the cooking liquid for a couple reasons. The first is that we are a low sodium household, the second is that the stock already contains a little salt.
I know slurping sounds funny, but slurping the liquid and allowing it to come into full contact with the taste buds will give you a true sense of the flavor (at least in my experience).