Boil, Braise

Savory Red Lentil Porridge

Scoop some coconut oil into a smaller pan that has tall sides. Set that over medium-low heat to slowly let it melt. Peel and dice a large yellow onion. Add that into the pan and stir to coat each chunk with the oil. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the onion. Peel and mince two garlic cloves. Once the onion has softened and turned a bit translucent, scrape the garlic into the pan. Next, I like to add some carrot. Peel and slice the carrot into rounds or dice it up even smaller. The bigger the pieces, the more time you need to let the carrot sit in the pan before proceeded to the next step. You can also add a chopped up red or orange pepper. Since a pepper’s flesh is softer than that of a root vegetable, add it into the pan once the root has taken to the heat. 

Now is a good time to stir in some spices, such as turmeric, cayenne, paprika, cumin, black pepper. Any combination, really, that you like. If the ground spices soak up most of the oil and leave the base of the pan dry, add some more coconut oil, or now you could even do a chunk of butter. Stir the spices into the onion and garlic and let that all sit over low heat until very fragrant.

Time to add the lentils into the pan. Probably safe to add at least a cup of the legume. You could do a bit more, however, depending on how large your onion truly was and how hungry you are. Stir the now stiff lentils to mix with the onion, garlic, carrot and spices.

In order to cook the lentils, you must add liquid. Mostly if not all some sort of stock, but maybe some coconut milk as well. The coconut milk will make the final result a bit richer and thicker in texture. The stock will braise the lentils and imbue even more flavor into each seed. Add enough liquid in to the pan to fully cover it’s solid contents, and then some. Cover the pan. Simmer over low heat. Check on it in about 15 minutes. Take a spoon and take a taste of the lentils to test if they are fully cooked. Each seed should have lost its sturdy structure, giving you the easy job of barely chewing. If they are not done yet and the liquid has almost all evaporated, add some more liquid to continue braising. If it needs very little time, only add a splash. If it needs a lot more time, maybe add two or three splashes.

For serving, make a little yogurt topping by stirring a big scoop of yogurt with some lemon juice, black pepper and salt. Maybe you want some greens in the mix? While the lentils are still over the stove, toss some raw spinach, kale or chard leaves right into the pan and stir and simmer for a few minutes to soften the leaves. After you’ve put some of the lentils in a bowl, add the yogurt right on top. You could garnish with some cilantro. Or if you want a crunch amongst the tenderness, some roasted cashews are a nice touch as well. For any leftovers, I recommend a soft boiled egg on top of it for breakfast the next day. This dish is heavy and dense. It should be filling enough on its own, however, a light, acidic dish would fair well on the side. 

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Brussels Sprouts



Ground Meat


For expaning the repertoire and filling in the fridge:

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