Thursday, January 10, 2008


Spiced Lentils with Spinach


I've never been.

Have you?

I was supposed to go once, but at the time things just didn't work out. (And thank goodness for that. My father took my brother instead and they bonded and went hiking. For weeks. Shudder. Wow is that ever not my idea of a party.)

Actually, its seems like everyone has been but me. I mean, my father goes all the time it seems. World traveler type and all. The Ombudsman went for a few months after college. My sweet aunts even went last year, and took such pretty pictures too. And my darling cousin (I only have three cousins all told, by the way. We are a small family. Close knit and tres international.) he is there as I type. But not as a tourist...he went because he needed to talk to a man about a girl.

See, he asked that girl to marry him, and needed to check in with her father.

And guess what that means peaches? It means I'm going to India! For a wedding! Yea for me.

I am beyond psyched. Oh baby oh baby oh baby. I'm thinking I will wear an orange sari, with my hair down and sort of wavy, and loads of bangles and gold eyeshadow. Am I allowed to wear a sari? Gosh, I hope so. I've always wanted to!

Okay, so, outfit aside, I am extremely over the moon happy for TM and VN and cannot wait to touch down and start eating. Talk about my kinda food. Ooh-eee.

In the mean time, (the wedding isn't until late summer or early fall...they are consulting with an astrologer for an exact date...) I made this the other's warm and hearty and filling and divine.

Try it my peaches, and taste the joy.

1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup fresh cilantro
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp ground coriander
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp salt
6 cups fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup small shapes of dried pasta (I used orzo)
Plain yogurt for garnish (optional)

Put the lentils in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

While they are soaking, put the garlic, cilantro leaves and stems in a food processor and process to a paste.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cilantro paste and gently fry until it is browned all over. Stir in the ground coriander. Add the stock to the pan. Drain the soaked lentils and add them to the pan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

Season the broth and add the spinach and pasta. Bring back to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls to serve.

Garnish with optional yogurt

Makes 8 - 1o hearty servings


This isn't actually an Indian's a variation on a Lebanese Rishta (lentils with pasta).

Coriander is mentioned as an aphrodisiac in The Tales of the Arabian Nights.

"Every good wine is someone's passion, which makes each bottle a work of art." -

CONGRATULATIONS, and MANY thanks to Anna, Susan and Sharon my own personal Menu for Hope winners...ladies, please email me at freshrachael (at) gmail (dot) com and I will explain how to get your prizes!!!!!

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Sounds deliciously warm and comforting - perfect for dreaming of a wedding in India! I hope you get to wear your sari - and I'm totally jealous of your internationally traveling family and friends... someday, someday that will be in the cards for me I hope!! Happy New Year my dear!
I love the eye shadow. Congrats to the happy couple.
congratulations to your mum ;)
and I came over to congratulate her for supporting her daughter and finding this recipe went to the market and got all the extra ingredients I needed to make it so. It's destined to be my healthy lunch for next week. Thanks for the inspiration. I was drinking champagne before 10 this morning. (At the market). I know you'd be proud of me.
I've been to India, back in September, and I'm going again in two weeks. Mostly for work but there's always time for some international exploration. I spent time in Chennai, Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry. This next trip will be to Chennai, and at present, other places unknown.

The food is outstanding! Have a great trip! Eat well and don't drink the water :)
I made this for dinner last night - delicious!
Oh, yes!! You are gonna love it, love it, love it! A country which positively caters to your culinary tastes. I understand that the food in southern India is even better than that in the north.

Thanks for the link to my post!

This recipe looks absolutely yummmm!!
thanks for this recipe rachael - i loved it - just made it for dinner. I didn't tell the Fredster it had the C-herb in it, but he guessed anyway. He's one of those that detests it. Bit mean of me to make it, ha! Oh well - all the leftovers are for me! Btw - I halved the recipe because although I can handle a few leftovers, I have my limits.

Btw - isn' it great that you can just publish a recipe without even a picture and inspire so many people to make it. What is it in particular about this recipe that appealed to people?
oh - duh - there is a picture ignore my last comment - i had this page open in a tab for a few days without refreshing and there was no picture so i guess my ompuer didn't load it the first time or ssomething. ignore me I am dooolally
Wonderful News! And fabulous looking recipe.
The food in India will be wonderful. Every household a new cuisine. Lucky you.

Whenever my brother or I where sick, my mom would make a lentil, rice and caramelized onion dish instead of the chicken soup. Your dish reminded me of one of my favorite comfort foods.
i made it again!
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