Sephardic stewed lentils

Sephardic stewed lentils

Lentejas a la djudia

By
From
Hazana
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

Traditionally served to break the fast of Tisha Be-Av, this dish is very good with a rice pilaf. Kirmizi biber is a kind of mild to hot chilli that is widely used in Turkish cooking, either crushed into flakes or ground into a powder. It can be found in most Turkish stores, but if unavailable dried chilli flakes may be used instead.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g green lentils
600ml hot water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt
kirmizi biber or dried chilli flakes
handful finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. Soak the lentils for 2 hours, then drain. Place in a saucepan, cover with the hot water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until almost tender, adding more hot water if necessary. Drain and reserve 90ml of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook over a moderate heat until they start to soften. Add the tomatoes and cumin and continue to cook for 7 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the lentils and reserved cooking liquid and bring to the boil. Season with salt and kirmizi biber or chilli flakes, then cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the sauce has reduced. Just before serving, stir in the parsley. Serve hot.
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