Green lentils are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re simultaneously high in fiber and a good source of protein and iron*, a combination that fills you up and keeps you satisfied. From a culinary perspective, lentils take less time to prepare than other beans and are mild in taste, making them a versatile ingredient to cook with. If you’re looking for a plant-based meal that is delicious, nutritious and satisfying, this recipe is for you!
2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoons turmeric, freshly grated (or substitute 1 tsp. dried turmeric powder)
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
¼ cup shallot, minced
1 large carrot, diced small
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon nigella seed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon mustard seed
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons tamarind paste*
1 cup organic green lentils
1 14-oz. can full fat coconut milk
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock or water
6 ounces baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons cilantro, chopped
Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
*If you can’t find tamarind paste, substitute 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses OR 1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice + 1 teaspoon brown sugar.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
- Add the ginger, turmeric, garlic, shallot, carrot, cumin seed, nigella seed, coriander, mustard seed, cayenne, and a generous pinch of salt.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tamarind paste, lentils, coconut milk, stock, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Stir everything together, turn the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce to simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked through, about 25 minutes.
- Turn off heat and stir in spinach to wilt.
- Season to taste with a few grinds of pepper, and additional salt if desired. Stir in cilantro.
- Serve over cooked rice or quinoa, and top each serving with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.