Really good! It turned out great the first time I made it, which doesn't happen all that often. I used powdered cumin instead of cumin seeds and just stirred the oil constantly. I think it worked just fine and did give the dish lots of flavor.
Spiced Red Lentils with Caramelized Onions and Spinach
This gently spicy dish uses a North Indian technique called tadka or chaunk: seasonings are sizzled in hot oil or clarified butter, then swirled into the lentils right before serving for a massive flavor boost.
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- Calories: 510
- Calories from fat: 21%
- Protein: 19g
- Fat: 13g
- Saturated fat: 1.5g
- Carbohydrate: 82g
- Fiber: 8.3g
- Sodium: 431mg
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 1/2 large onions, halved and cut into thin half-moons
- About 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed well and drained
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 serrano chile, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 bunch (10 oz.) spinach (not baby), stems finely chopped and leaves cut in half; or use thawed frozen spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups cooked brown basmati rice or couscous
- 1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium heat in a large nonstick frying pan. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and very soft with crisp edges, about 30 minutes. Transfer half to a bowl and set aside.
- 2. Meanwhile, put lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups water and the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, uncovered, and skim foam. Simmer just until tender, 5 to 10 minutes (they'll fall apart a little). Remove bay leaves and set lentils aside--don't drain.
- 3. Stir chile, ginger, coriander, turmeric, and 1 tsp. salt into pan of onions and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir onion-spinach mixture into pot of lentils and wipe frying pan clean.
- 4. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in pan over medium heat. Add cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, until seeds are sizzling, about 1 minute; stir into lentils. Season with salt. Top lentils with reserved onion and serve over rice.
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