So, I’m the weirdo serving you a big steaming bowl of lentils on the second official week of summer.
But for me to stray so far from everything that is zucchini and corn and cherries and seasonal you know it has to be good!!
In my defense, they do say that eating spicy food actually cools you off more.
Something about sweat and core body temperature blah blah blah.
But probably so does eating ice cream?
As an official MD, I should totally know the physiology behind all of this. I don’t. It’s cool.
Let’s just eat our lentils and not ask too many detailed questions, mmmmkkayyy???
Regardless of the season, I love me a good pantry lentil meal.
Especially one that feeds an army yet comes together in basically one pot.
And even more when it’s rich with Indian spices and topped with a toasted coconut-mustard seed combo.
Food52 calls this a Genius Recipe and they are SO right on. It’s got crunch and heat and spice and everything you could want in a bowl of something as hearty as lentils.
A meal for all seasons. Even the sweaty ones.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups brown or green lentils
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1¾ tsp coarse salt
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1½ tbsp black or brown mustard seeds
- ¼ cup pistachios
- plain yogurt, for serving
- Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, garlic, and curry powder to the pan. Saute until fragrant and scallions are tender, about 4 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and lentils. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and salt along with enough water to cover the lentils by ½ inch. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut, pistachios, and mustard seeds to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the coconut is golden and the mustard seeds are toasted, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
- Divide the lentils evenly among 6 bowls. Top with the coconut-mustard seed mixture as well as a dollop of yogurt. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread or naan.