Recently, I’ve been to quite a few friends’ places where I had the chance to sample some tasty Middle-Eastern cooking! So yesterday, I was in the process of making an ordinary lentil dish – and suddenly it turned sort of Middle-Eastern! So I quickly got on my bike to the Turkish shop to add some more appropriate vegetables (via the Turkish pastry counter I’m afraid)! It turned out kind of like this (once I’d finished with the baklava starter…):
Onions & garlic, sauteed
Brown lentils (and maybe some green ones?), dried and fried for a bit
Tins of tomatoes and tomato puree with some water
An obscene amount of cinnamon
Salt, pepper, a bit or turmeric, cumin, coriander and dried chilli flakes
Wait a bit until the lentils have had some time to cook. Then add:
Celery, aubergine and potato cubes
Sliced okra (goes in last when the potatoes are half-cooked)
I think that was it! I cooked it the day before I wanted to eat it to let the spices do their work. The next day I reheated it in the oven with a layer of yoghurt on top and some fresh coriander sprinkled on top.
A friend of mine does a very yummy stripped-down version of this: you basically follow the recipe until the spices come in. You scrap the other vegetables (unless you have any you can use) and add some fries or chips to the mix or tins of beans.
Serve with rice and bread, if you have. I also made some coriander salad to go with it (tomatoes, apples, celery, shallots and a vinaigrette to which you can add rosewater).