This is my adaptation of a recipe from The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon. It became an adaptation the first time I made it because it called for red lentils when I had only brown. I picked this because it used Berbere, the new Ethiopian spice I found at my spice shop. The author also cooks the onions, garlic and spices in a thin layer of water, whereas I went to my default tablespoon of olive oil for sauteing the onions and spices.
Here is my version of this absolutely delicious lentil dish:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Berebere (or substitute chili pepper, cayenne)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 cups of water
1 cup of lentils
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes,
salt and pepper to taste
lots of cilantro for garnish
1 cup of brown rice
Variation: Add chopped kale, chard, or spinach 5-10 minutes before taking off the heat to get your greens in.
Set up your brown rice to cook. Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil. When onions are translucent add all the spices and mix around to coat the onions. Add the water and lentils. After about 15 minutes, add the diced tomatoes. When lentils are completely soft and stew is heated through, serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.
This is the kind of staple you can eat every day. Recently I planned to make this and discovered I was out of lentils, so I made it exactly the same way with mung beans.The mung beans may have even been better than the lentils! I would suggest trying this formula with different color lentils, mung beans, yellow split peas or adzuki beans. Rotate the brown rice with quinoa or couscous. Add different leafy greens. A whole week of meal planning done – It is great any which way.