Tag Archives: lentils

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Chickpeas and Lentils

According to a recent issue of Milk Street Magazine, this aromatic Moroccan dish, called harira, is traditionally served during Ramadan to break the daily fast. It’s sometimes vegetarian, other times meaty, and depending on the cook, its consistency may be thick and hearty or light and brothy.

This recipe calls for lamb, but you could substitute an equal amount of boneless beef chuck. Note that the chickpeas require soaking, which we did, to cook at the same rate as the meat. For convenience, however, you can skip the dried chickpeas and simply stir some drained canned chickpeas into the stew at the end.

Speaking of those chickpeas, we felt that only 1/3 cup for those and the lentils was way too few in the end. We advise tripling both to 1 cup each to help thicken the base, which we deemed too thin. These larger amounts are noted in the ingredients list below.

We opted for the Fast version here, but Milk Street also offers directions on a Slow method if you prefer. Don’t forget to serve with lemon wedges which add a bright note, and a drizzle of grassy extra-virgin olive oil. If not counting carbs, offer crusty bread for soaking up the broth.

Don’t use brown or regular green lentils in place of the lentils du Puy. Though those varieties do hold their shape, they cook up with a softer, more yielding texture than Puy lentils, which stay quite firm and offer textural contrast to the stew.

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Chickpeas and Lentils

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 6 medium celery stalks, sliced ½ to ¾ inch thick
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. sweet paprika
  • 14½ oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder or beef chuck, trimmed and cut into ¾- to 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup lentils du puy
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or a mixture, chopped, plus more to serve

Directions (for the fast version)

  1. In a small bowl, stir together 2 cups water and 1½ teaspoons salt. Add the chickpeas and soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and set aside.
  2. On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select Normal/Medium Sauté. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the celery, onion, garlic, ginger and 2½ teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cinnamon, paprika and 1½ teaspoons pepper, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and 4 cups water, scraping up browned bits. Add the lamb, lentils and chickpeas; stir to combine, then distribute in an even layer.
  5. Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 15 minutes.
  6. When pressure-cooking is complete, let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and/or cilantro. Serve sprinkled with additional herbs and drizzled with oil

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Lebanese Lentils and Rice with Crisped Onions (Mujaddara)

Rice and lentils with caramelized onions is a much-loved food in the Middle East. This is Milk Street’s take on the version they tasted in Lebanon, where the dish is called mujaddara. The rice and lentils are simmered together in the same pot, with the lentils getting a 10-minute head start so both finish at the same time.

Meanwhile, the onions are fried until crisp and deeply caramelized—almost burnt, really—to coax out a savory bittersweet flavor. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with a dollop of plain yogurt. It’s a delicious accompaniment to grilled or roasted meats, but it’s hearty enough to be the center of a vegetarian meal.

We took the flavor up a notch by using homemade chicken broth instead of the water. Of course, it’s no longer vegetarian after that, but you could use vegetable or mushroom stock if that is your goal. I must admit, without the pop of green from scallions (and I added a garnish of cilantro), the dish is very bland and brown looking—the taste is anything BUT.

For the uninitiated, lentils are tiny round legumes—aka a seed that grows in a pod—a plant-based protein source that come in a variety of sizes and colors, including black, brown, yellow, red, or green. They’re low in fat, extremely nutrient-dense, and generally pretty affordable to buy, and they pack in a lot of health benefits. They are high in protein, are a good source of iron, and pack a lot of healthy fiber.

Tip: Don’t use French green lentils (Puy lentils) in place of the brown lentils called for. Even when fully cooked, green lentils retain a firm, almost al dente texture, while brown lentils take on a softness that combines well with the rice. Don’t worry if the onions turn quite dark at the edge of the skillet; deep browning is desirable. But do stir the browned bits into the mix to ensure the onions color evenly. However, if the onions brown deeply before they soften, lower the heat a notch or two and keep stirring until the pan cools slightly.

Lebanese Lentils and Rice with Crisped Onions (Mujaddara

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 5 cups water, or choice of stock (we used homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ cup peanut oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • Plain whole-milk yogurt, to serve

Directions

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, combine 5 cups water, the garlic, bay, cumin, allspice, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils and reduce to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to maintain a simmer, until the lentils are softened but still quite firm at the center, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rice and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce to medium-low and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils and rice are tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring only occasionally at the start then more frequently once browning begins at the edges of the pan, until the onions are deeply caramelized and crisped, 10 to 15 minutes; adjust the heat if the onions brown too quickly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a paper towel–lined plate and spread evenly. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and set aside; the onions will crisp as they cool.
  4. When the lentils and rice are tender, remove the pot from the heat. Uncover and lay a kitchen towel across the pan, then replace the lid and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Using a fork, fluff the lentils and rice, removing and discarding the bay. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in half the scallions, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the fried onions and remaining scallions.
  7. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with yogurt on the side.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe courtesy of 177MilkStreet.com