Lentil Stew

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 March 2011 02:29 Written by Flax Sunday, 13 March 2011 02:29

This stew contains both a protein and a green leafy vegetable.  Serve it on a bed of rice and you have a well-balanced, healthy and nourishing meal.  The prep. time for this dish is about ten minutes, and while you could theoretically get away with twenty minutes of cooking time, I prefer to let it cook slowly, over a low flame, for up to an hour. 

The green leafy vegetable that I use here has a bunch of names.  In Israel it is called both mangold and beet leaves.   It is one of my favorite green leafy vegetables to use in cooking because it is a Gush Katif product that is almost always available.  Look for it next to the lettuce in the refrigerated vegetable section.

For all of those who have been asking, pickled lemon is sold in supermarkets.  It is a commonly used ingredient in North African cooking and can usually be found next to the horseradish or the schug.  The hebrew name for pickled lemon is lemon baladi.  It is both salty and sour in flavor.  To prevent oversalting your food, add the pickled lemon first and then taste the dish before you add more salt.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch mangold leaves (beet leaves), crudely chopped
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, diced
  • 1 tsp pickled lemon
  • turmeric
  • chilli pepper (optional)
  • fenugreek (optional)
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a wide sauce pan.  Saute the onion, garlic and spices until the onion is translucent.  Add the mangold leaves and sweat until the leaves are soft.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  The lentils are cooked after 15 minutes but I like to cook this dish for up to an hour, leaving it to simmer until most of the water has boiled out and you are left with a thick sauce.

Serve hot.  Serves 4 as a main course.

Enjoy!

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Majadera

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:40 Written by Flax Thursday, 24 June 2010 02:51

Lentils are wonderful to eat all year round but I especially like to make them in the summer.  This is because they are the quickest cooking legume and won’t heat up the house as much as beans that require longer cooking times.  One of my favorite lentil dishes, both to cook as well as to eat,  is majadera.

Majadera is a traditional middle-eastern dish that consists of rice cooked with lentils and topped with fried onions and yogurt.  It is a simple dish to make and requires very little prep time.  While I prefer to make this meal for dinner and serve it hot, Egyptian Jews would also serve it cold for Shabbat lunch.

I like to serve this dish along-side a chopped Israeli salad.  I suggest using pickled lemons in the salad to give it a bit of tangy flavor.  Pickled lemons are sold in supermarkets, usually next to the horseradish and other refrigerated condiments.

Ingredients:

Majadera

  • 1 cup Persian brown rice
  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper

Fried Onions:

  • 2 large onions, diced
  • olive oil (apx.1/4 cup)

Salad:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 bunch rocket
  • 1 tbsp pickled lemon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Place the rice and lentils in a pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 45 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the onions, stirring often until they turn dark brown and are almost carmelized.

Chop the salad vegetables into small pieces.  Place in a small salad bowl and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Serve the majadera on a plate  topped with the fried onions and accompanied by salad.

Serves 4-6.

Enjoy!

Sima Herzfeld Navon has a clinic for holistic medicine.  She also teaches healthy cooking and holistic nutrition.

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