For Meatless Monday we made a delicious vegetarian or vegan pairing of Mediterranean salad and Afghani red lentils. NOTE: for vegan fare omit yogurt and feta cheese.
The Mediterranean salad consists of cucumber, tomatoes, onion, avocado, olives, and pepperoncini dressed in a little EVOO and vinegar and garnished with feta cheese (for non-vegans.) I used cherry tomatoes since we have an enormous bowlful from our daughter’s garden. As usual the best ingredients yield the best results!
I have not made Afghani daal since January! Seriously it is so quick and easy I should be making it every few weeks! Here is my adapted recipe which I originally found on Afghan Culture Unveiled.
2 tsp. olive oil
1 finely chopped medium onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tbsp. fincely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
1 cup red lentils
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the turmeric, cumin, cayenne and let the spices bloom for a minute or so. Then add the lentils and vegetable (or chicken) broth, stir and turn the heat up to high. When the liquid boils, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook until the lentils are very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and salt. Serve with a spoonful of plain yogurt (or not) and warm pita or rice.
It is important to use red lentils since they break down into a creamy consistency. I also sprinkled a bit of sumac over mine. This is so good and nutritious! You should try it.