I was so excited when I saw this recipe on Cooking.in.College. I love lentils and I love spices. And, lucky for me, lentils are low oxalate. I'm still strugglilng with finding appealing low oxalate recipes. This low oxalate diet is way more difficult than going gluten free. That's part of the reason my posting has slowed, I feel so uninspired in the kitchen. I'm not sure how much longer I need to follow this diet, hopefully not much longer. I went to the dr this week and discovered I've lost 5 lbs since going low oxalate. Neither my doctor, nor myself was pleased to discover this. I worked so hard to gain that weight over many months, and now I have to start again. I know people probably hate me for complaining about losing weight, but, trust me, a painful stomach disease is not an ideal way to lose weight.
Sorry about the digression, back to the lentils. I followed Meg's recipe, with a few changes. I omitted the carrots, (because they are high oxalate), and the mustard seeds (because I didn't have any). I used 7 cardamom pods, 5 whole cloves. Instead of oil, I sauted the onion in butter (because I'm trying to gain weight and I need the extra fat). I added more cumin and corriander. I also wrapped my whole spices up in cheesecloth, so they would be easily removed.
I used organic french lentils (which is what Mr.Surly brought home from the grocery store) which are smaller, darker, and take longer to cook than the green lentils I usually use. In addition to 4 c stock, I ended up using about 3-4 c water. Once they were finally soft (after about an hour) I used an immersion blender to blend it to the right consistency. I served it topped with greek yogurt.
Allow me, again, to get off topic to talk a bit about spices, which are incredibly overpriced. I have found that World Market is the best place to buy exotic spices. At my grocery store it is $6 for one whole vanilla bean. At World Market I can buy 2 whole vanilla beans for $1.99. They have a whole variety of spices, which is why they are my go-to destination for exotic, unusual spices. They also sell regular spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Mr.Surly raved over how much flavor these lentils had. I agree; it was fantastic. As it was simmering, my kitchen smelled amazing. I had one small bowl of this and Mr.Surly polished off the rest; he like it that much.
If you love Indian food make this now. Head over to Cooking.In.College for the full recipe. You won't regret it.
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 tsp oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 lb carrots ends trimmed and peeled, chopped into medium/small pieces
3-5 whole cloves
5-7 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp coriander
1 1/4 tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 1/4 cups lentils, washed and picked over
4 cups vegetable stock or water plus a little for sautéing the onions
flat leaf parsley
Sauté onion in the oil until it begins to soften (add a little bit of stock or water to help them along if necessary)
Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, cloves, cardamom pods, coriander, mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric (keep track of how many cardamom pods and cloves you add so you can ensure you've removed all of them later)
Sauté until the spices are aromatic and carrots just begin to cook
Add lentils and stock (add stock or water until it is about 1 inch above the lentils)
Stir and cover
Cook on medium-low heat for about 30-45 minutes, stir occasionally, until the lentils and carrots are soft (add water or stock as needed so it doesn't get too dry)
Once the lentils and carrots are tender remove the cardamom pods and cloves from the pot
Remove two cups of the soup and puree in a food processor until smooth
Add back to the pot and let simmer for a couple of minutes until it is the consistency you want
Chop some flat leaf parsley and sprinkle on top
Serve with naan or brown basmati or jasmine rice