Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Creamy Coconut Red Lentils with Couscous

Red Coconut Lentils (03) by MeetaK

My mind has been wandering lately. There is a lot going on in our lives and my mind seems to be everywhere at the same time. Last week I completed my probation 6 months at work. I got to read the assessment my bosses wrote for me and … well … let’s just say that day my head bloated far too much and I had trouble fitting through doors. ;-)

It’s been a great 6 months and I am really loving every day here at the university. No two days are alike and for my restless Gemini mind I have enough variety to keep my mind active. My former job from home seems so morbid in comparison.

Looking ahead I know 2009 is going to be one of many changes for us. As Tom is wrapping up his thesis, there have been several job offers coming his way. Zurich, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, Stuttgart are places we could end up in. He has also been offered to stay on at the university here in Weimar. So, you see we have a lot to talk about at home right now.

Weimar – who would have thought that after traveling the world I would feel so comfortable in this small, quaint city? Both Tom and I have found special friends here and Soeren fits into his social network so perfectly. We’d hate to say goodbye to this part of our lives. So Weimar is a very serious contender to all those big cities I mentioned above – because Weimar has somehow become home to us. Initially, when we first moved here we always said it was an intermediate stop in our lives. Just until the PHD is completed. Since then our feelings have changed and we could very well imagine settling down here.

A few of you also know from my last post that this week Soeren is away at his grandparents. So my afternoons have been somehow empty. I have been doing those chores that you put back to the bottom of your list. I cleaned and sorted out the pantry, defrosted the freezer, filed the piles of paperwork and bills and threw away piles of magazines (some from last year!).

The evenings have been quite refreshing this week. Tom, who has been highly strung the last few months, is amazingly relaxed. Generally he would spend 2-3 hours upstairs working on the thesis after Soeren goes to bed, but this week we have been simply spending time together, listening to music, reading and chatting.

So, I am sure you will now understand why I have not been around your blogs lately. While I do miss you all I am relaxing and enjoying spending one on one time with Tom. Enjoying the serenity before things get lively again when Soeren gets back. Inhaling these moments before we dive into the unknown. I'll be around soon. Just need to get my mind settled and focused again.

Dishes like this help us relax and soothes our busy minds. It's a simple serving of red lentils with the added richness of creamy coconut milk accompanied with couscous. We curl up of the sofa with steaming bowls and chat till the late hours. It's useful to make large portions of this because the next day you can add a bit more stock and enjoy it as soup.

Red Coconut Lentils (02) by MeetaK

 

Coconut Red Lentils

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

200g red lentils
400ml coconut milk
425ml can of tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 red onions, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons turmeric powder
2 tablespoons oil
500ml vegetable stock
Handful of mint leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper

Method

Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté onions, garlic and chili until soft and translucent. Add the turmeric powder and allow to cook for a minute.

Add lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk and stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until the consistency of the lentils is creamy.

Salt and pepper to taste and finally sprinkle with mint leaves.

Serve hot with couscous.

 


Verdict

Red Coconut Lentils 01 framed

This is a simple yet flavorful dish. I find it incredibly soothing and comforting. A few wonderful ingredients prepared with a few aromatic spices, creates such a delicious meal. My mother will argue with me for adding coconut milk to the lentils, but I will argue it is the coconut milk that adds a wonderful unique flavor to the lentils. Mint and turmeric simply add a refreshing note rounding the whole dish up.

Sra of When My Soup Came Alive is hosting this session of My legume love affair, an event I have missed taking part in previously much to my regret. The mastermind behind the event is lovely Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook. I hope Sra will accept my humble offerings.

You might like these legumes dishes from WFLH:

Black Bean Chilli 03 framed Black Bean Chili with Saffron Rice and Papaya Guacamole
Chickpea Tajine 04 framed Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine With Coconut Couscous & Coconut Chutney
Hummus04 Minty Hummus

From around the blogs:

 

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

39 comments :

  1. A warm comfort food in winter.You have hit the right button.

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  2. I've been really into cooking with lentils lately! And since I love coconut and mint so much, I'm definitely going to have to give this a try. Healthy, pretty, and delicious!

    Sues

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  3. Looks delicious Meeta. Coconut milk is such a wonderful ingredient in cooking...it really adds a special touch. Good luck with your decision making in the near future.

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  4. Your evenings sound like what I wish I had right now!! And I really need to get into cooking with lentils, and I bet this would be a great way to start!

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  5. your description is making me wish I had some of that too :) i have a list of things I need to get to but have been waiting for months! Enjoy th rest of the week :)

    the couscous and lentil combination sounds perfect... can't wait to try it!

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  6. Your evenings sound very romantic now that Soeren is with his grandparents. Good luck with your future plans. The lentils sound delicious.

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  7. Coconut milk wiht red lentils...sounds interesting...have never tried coconut milk in anything except thai recipes....looks delish Meeta....enjoy your time at home and good luck with your future plans

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  8. Oh, don't worry about the blogs! Quality time's much more important :) Enjoy the serenity!
    I've only had lentils once in soup but I really like that it's so filling and hearty. I'll remember to come here if ever I stumble upon some raw lentils!

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  9. Its quite unique how you have made the lentils. in vegetable stock. i have never tried it that way but the end-result definitely looks worth it!

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  10. Adding coconut milk is a novel idea... I saw this in another blog recently .. loks like I must try this!

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  11. Hi Meeta, thanks for the entry! It's really unfussy and quite different. Best of luck with all the decisions!

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  12. this is the second time i am seeing lentils with coconut milk....i must try it out now!! goodluck with the plans for the future...

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  13. Congratulations on your review! The lentil and couscous combination looks absolutely heart warming - enjoy your quiet time together!

    Miri

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  14. Hope the busyness settles down!

    Gorgeous dish, as always.

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  15. Aaaahhh, I understand you perfectly well! Eventhough we love our kids... sharing and afternoon, a day, a weekend, a week with our beloved feels so good! :D

    I saw red lentils today at the market and hesitated a bit... should I buy or not... I didn't and now I regret!!!

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  16. A week! Glorious! Enjoy. I'm enjoying a week alone at the moment and your lentils look like the perfect dish for just me but I totally appreciate enjoying them with the one other too!

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  17. mmm this really really sounds lovely and delicious. Something I wouldnt mind enjoying right now!

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  18. Its always nice to have time to bond, and somehow, after kids, couples find it hard to spend doting times:) looks likes that's just what both of you needed!

    glad to knwo about your work too, and I'm sure things will turn out well, eventually!:)

    the simple combo looks comforting indeed!

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  19. this is awesome, I can have this with my chappati!

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  20. Such a nice use for coconut milk. I'm sure your mom will find it delicious once she tastes it :)

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  21. Thanks for your lovely comments everyone.

    I know adding coconut milk to lentils is not what you see usually but that's all the fun about cooking trying out new flavor combination. This one is one that works! Hope you all will like it as much as we did!

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  22. Red lentils are our absolute favourites and your version does sound quite interesting and looks lovely.

    Enjoy your special moments, and all the best for the future :-)

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  23. It is always good to take time off and relax with your loved ones, Meeta. No argument there.

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  24. It is really quite fascinating how life can take us in the most unexpected directions. Good that you are enjoying some quality time with your husband. ; o) I love this recipe because lentils are a real weakeness. I will give it a go in a very near future.

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  25. How nice you get a chance to relax. You certainly deserve it.

    Such a lovely dish Meeta. That's what I call vegetarian comfort food!

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  26. Meeta, the dish looks so wonderfully comforting!

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  27. How nice it is to have so many options... I know all about a busy husband who studies or works on his thesis in the evening. It's so special and precious when you finally find the time to catch up.
    This red lentil dish is my idea of a heartwarming meal.

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  28. Meeta, I'm in love with this preparation of yours. It sounds (and looks, of course) just great.
    I'm sure it would be great with rice or chappathis too.

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  29. A wonderful meal! Very healthy and tasty!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  30. Yes we are all looking forward to what becomes of us LOL! Who knows we might just stay on in Weimar. Thanks everyone for your comments!

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  31. That is a beautifully cozy bowl of lentils to tuck into. Oh, the turns life takes us on. Definitely take your time and enjoy the ride.

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  32. i just made this dish, SO good!!!! thank you for sharing!

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  33. A lovely post to accompany a lovely recipe. Thanks for the recipe, and for the couscous pairing idea. I don't associate couscous with lentils-- usually roti or Basmati, but couscous was the perfect side to this fantastic, creamy, tangy dal. (I did add a scant tablespoon of tomato paste since the canned tomatoes I was using were a little watery.)

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  34. thanks so much for your comments.

    erin, Eeshani, fnatastic that you tried this and liked it. i particularly love the coconut flavor with the nutty lentil flavor. and yes eehani, couscous is a great alternative to rice or rotis!

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  35. you sound at peace meeta, how wonderful. x

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  36. I made this for an Indian Food Night with friends and even impressed the two Indian guys there :) Thank you so much for the recipe - the measurements were precise - it looked good - it tasted even better - what more could you ask for?
    Big hugs from Vienna!

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  37. Manuela, oh i am excited that you and your friends enjoyed this dish of daal/lentils. the coconut milk not only adds a wonderul rich texture but gives it a fantastic flavor. hugs back!

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  38. Alright, I just made this last night and it was GREAT. I used much less stock and used cilantro instead of mint. Also garnished with chopped roasted cashews. This is so good that bf requested I make it again tonight. I cook every night and don't ever remember a time that I made the same meal 2 nights in a row. THANK YOU!!! If you haven't made this yet...get on it.

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  39. Love the combination of coconut and cloves! Excited for Fall to come so I can make this

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta