Monday, July 2, 2012

Spiced Lentil Salad

If you've got a solar oven, you're always on the hunt for recipe ideas and adaptations.  Since I've had mine several years, I'm getting pretty solid at producing reliable food from it.  I thought I'd start sharing my successes occasionally to help other people get the most out of their ovens.

In general solar ovens are like regular ovens with no dehydrating properties.  So anything you can do in an oven you can do in a solar oven with less water and more time.  Ditto crockpot recipes.  Anything crockpot works with less water and less control of the timing.

July in FL is usually hot and a great time to not cook indoors but the rest of the country is fairing even worse right now so take as much as you can outside.

This recipe is adapted from A Kitchen Safari. My mom got me this cookbook on her safari to Africa which she summed up as 'amazing'.

Spiced Lentil Salad

Preheat oven in the sun to bring it up to temperature.
Rinse and sort for rocks 11/4 cup lentils.  I used small french green ones.
If your oven didn't come with cookware, choose a dark saucepan and put in the lentils and 11/2 cups water.  Cook til soft but not mushy.  For me this was 1 hour 45 minutes in the noon day sun.
Finely chop 2 cups onions.  Saute in 2 TB olive oil in skillet on stove for 5 minutes til soft.
Add 2 garlic cloves finely chopped and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. anise, 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric, 1/2 tsp.  ground coriander, and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger.  Stir and saute for another minute.
Add 2 skinned (I use the potato peeler instead of dipping in hot water) and diced tomatoes and 1 TB brown sugar.  Cook on low until you have a nice sauce.
Add the lentils and salt to taste.  Stir until mixed and then let sit.  It gets better with age so if you have time, make this the day before serving.  It's great spread on poppadums or on crusty bread.
Serves 4-6

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