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Spicy Brown Lentils
Sue Buckless - Devonport, Tasmania, Australia

Brown Lentils contain Vitamin A, some of the B Vitamins, iron, calcium, copper, zinc and are almost 25% protein and 54% carbohydrate, thus making them low in fat and high in fibre.

How To Cook

Brown lentils look like tiny flattened, greyish-brown circles.
The wonderful thing is you do not have to soak them before using.
They are very versatile and become very tender when cooked but will not readily break up into a puree, you can however easily mash them into a puree for savoury rissoles and pates.
They make an excellent substitute for minced beef because when they are cooked they are a rich dark brown with a flavour to match.

  • 1/2cup Brown Lentils
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 dessertspoon promite
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • boiling water
Firstly check lentils for any small stones, then wash well.
You do not have to soak lentils but for this recipe I find that it helps the lentils take up the spicy flavour and shortens the cooking time.
I usually soak them for up to 4 hours, they could even be left all day.

When you are ready to cook, drain and rinse well.
Set lentils aside and chop the onion, using a medium sized non stick saucepan (heavy based or even a milk saucepan works well) gently saute onion in a little oil (olive oil gives a lovely flavour).
Saute until soft and then add spices, stir to coat the onion and then add the lentils.

Continue to “fry” gently for a couple of minutes, being careful not to burn, and then add about 1 cup of boiling water.
Bring back to the boil, add promite and season with black pepper.
Mix well and reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking for 1 1/2hours adding more water as needed.
Just before serving you may need to thicken.

Serve with baked potatoes, baked pumpkin and a variety of steamed vegetables.
Arrange all vegetables in a circle on the plate and spoon spicy lentils in the middle.

The amount of spice can be adjusted according to taste

Promite is a vegetable yeast extract, but you could use miso or your favourite stock

Made too Much? - Freezes Well or Re-Heat and Serve on Hot Toast