Spicy Red Lentil Dal

Spicy Red Lentil Dal
Serves 12 (over brown rice)

Olive oil
4 leeks, washed and sliced
3 T minced garlic (the pre-crushed jarred stuff is okay)
3 t mustard seeds
½ t crushed red pepper
3 t ground cumin
3 t ground turmeric
1 ½ t ground coriander
1 ½ t black pepper
1 ½ t salt
3 T tomato paste (buy it in a tube and you won’t throw out half a can)
6 c organic vegetable broth (or more as needed)
3 c red lentils (don’t substitute regular lentils – they take longer to cook)
1 ½ c light coconut milk
2 T lime juice

In a large sauce pan, sauté leeks in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add tomato paste, veggi broth and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover partially and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add coconut milk and lime juice and heat through. Serve plain or over hot cooked brown rice. Good with pita wedges.

Spiced Pita Wedges:
From Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine

Preheat oven to 350. Split pitas in half horizontally and arrange cut side up on baking sheets. In a small bowl mix 1/2c olive oil with 2 t curry powder. Brush tops of pita with the mixture and sprinkle on 2 t mustard seeds. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Bake until crisp, 10-12 minutes.

Monkfish Tale:
Rebecca is learning to cook and it’s so fun! When I made scones a few weeks ago, she stood over my shoulder and said “Oh Wow! Something is emerging out of nothing!” This week at Monkfish Abbey it was Rebecca’s turn to cook, so I coached her through this lentil dal recipe. As she stirred the leeks and waited for the mustard seeds to pop she Oohed and Aahhed and we discussed the similarity between cooking and aclhemy. Everyone loved Rebecca’s first attempt — so we’ve included the recipe for you here. Bon Appetite!