Friday, January 29, 2010

Favorite Food Fridays-Cooking Ethiopian Style

Some of you will know that I am experimenting with a no-flour, no-sugar lifestyle. I have yet to inflict it on the rest of the family, but 2 weeks in, I have been surprised at how little I miss it (Although I do have to say that it was hard to make cookies for the munchkins yesterday without eating the dough!).

In order to make up for the lack of sugars and bread, I have been trying out lots of new recipes, and given my love of all things spicy, most of them have had an Indian, Mexican, or Ethiopian vibe. I am also trying out various legumes that I have ignored before.

Yesterday, I experimented with cooking with lentils and made an Ethiopian feast for supper. An Ethiopian stew is called a wat, and lentils are called mesir. So, I made a mesir wat.

1 lb red lentils
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T. tomato paste
2 t. gingerroot, peeled and minced
2 T. paprika
1 t. tumeric
1/2 to 2 t. cayenne pepper
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 t. sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper

Sort the lentils and soak in tap water for 30 minutes. Rinse in running water and drain.

Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel and mash the garlic. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion and garlic until golden. Add tomato paste, paprika, ginger, tumeric, and cayenne. Stir in rapidly to color the oil and cook the spices through (approximately 1 minute). Add lentils, salt, pepper, and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until lentils are cooked through and fall apart, approximately 40 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep from drying out. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, as needed.

Yummy! And oh, so healthy. Gareth liked it, but you should have seen his face when I told him he was eating lentils!!!!!!!

Now, it's off to try making more lentil dishes!

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