Sunday, March 1, 2009

Revisiting Lentils

I've always been an adventurous eater and I'm willing to try anything once, with a few caveats, gelatinous textured food and anything served on Fear Factor. Although there are a few things that I just don't like. One of them is lentils, I've hated them since I was a kid and it has always bugged me that everyone in my family loves them. But now I'm older and tastes change (as a child, I used to scrape the cheese off pizza) so I thought I'd give lentils another chance.

50 Great Curries of India, Tenth Anniversary Edition I wasn't sure what to do with them so I got out my favorite Indian cookbook 50 Great Curries of India, Tenth Anniversary Edition by Camellia Panjabi to look for dal recipes. I was already planning palak paneer (spinach with curd cheese) and naan, so I figured a lentil dish would round out the meal. I decided on the moong dal, dry style. It's prepared almost like a rice dish, just simmered until tender and then seasoned with turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder and some butter. I was very excited about this dish. The spinach dish came out wonderful but unfortunately, I still hate lentils. I would use the method again, but using another grain. The seasoning was wonderful but it was totally ruined by the flavor and texture of the lentils.

I love to cook, so for me, there is great disappointment in preparing a meal that comes out other than I expected. Rob hated the lentils to. We ate the naan and the spinach but Rob ended up making us a platter of apples, nuts and cheese to fill us up. Bless his heart, he even washed up because the delicate genius was so upset about ruining dinner.

I am happy that I gave lentils a try and this won't keep from trying new things, even things I think that I don't like. Eating a wide variety of delicious and nutritious food is one of life's greatest pleasures.


  1. Aw, I am sorry you didn't like your dish after working so hard on it and being brave enough to try lentils again! I think we all have a couple of foods that just don't work. I try to revisit some of mine every so often, too, and haven't really found any as an adult that I fell in love with. (As a kid I didn't like blue cheese, beans, almost any kind of salad dressing... at least I have overcome a lot of those!)

  2. Hi! Came across your blog and was just browsing your earlier entries.
    First and foremost... congratulations on your awesome weight loss!! You're an inspiration
    I read your post about your experiments with lentils, and just wanted to suggest that you give it another shot with a different lentil... perhaps try the black lentils (I don't really know what they are called) which are used in dal makhani and try to cook them in a gravy.
    If you want to give it a shot just drop me a line and perhaps I'll be able to give you some recipes.

    Cheers from India!

  3. I'm not a huge fan of lentils, but I love love love them in Dal! Especially red lentils because they cook down to a puree. They are a such a nutritious food (and really quite cheap), might be worth another try...

    My favorite, from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook":

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1 med yellow onion, finely chopped
    2 ribs celery, chopped
    2.5 cups dried red lentils, picked over and rinsed
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp tumeric
    3/4 tsp ground coriander
    2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    6 cups veg or chicken broth

    Saute onions and celery in olive oil until softened. Add everything to the slow cooker, and add enough water to cover all the lentils (if needed, depending on the size of your cooker). Cover and cook on HIGH for one hour. Turn the cooker to LOW and cook for 5-6 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Just found your blog after reading about you in Lifetime Mag, and started from the beginning a couple of days ago and have been reading it in order. You are an inspiration - thank you for sharing your journey!