Red Lentils with Spinach: A Vegan Recipe

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A very easy and delicious vegan recipe. A cup of red lentils is brought to the boil and then allowed to simmer until the lentils achieve the desired firmness  (some people like them firmer while others let them fall apart completely).

While the lentils simmer, add your favorite spices and herbs. I do some Madras curry, a cinnamon stick (a cinnamon stick is really crucial, in my opinion), a bit of nutmeg, a few allspice, and some cumin seed.

Then throw in a handful of fresh spinach leaves. Remove seeds from a tomato,  cube it, and throw it in.

And that’s all you need to do!

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12 thoughts on “Red Lentils with Spinach: A Vegan Recipe”

  1. It’s also really good if you add some softened onions, or cook them along with the lentils… I like it with just cinnamon, black pepper and lemon juice for a less spicy experience – my stomach hates spices when I’m stressed but a simple, nutritious, delicious bowl full of this is so soothing! Yum!

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      1. I remember you saying this summer that you had lunch at indian buffet every day. How do you do that with your distaste of cooked onions? It’s almost impossible to avoid cooked onions in most sauces/dishes you encounter in indian restaurants.

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  2. I make a similar dish with red wine and onions, but I don’t imagine that’d be vegan. I think the wine I use has animal byproducts (wine often does, I’m told). It never occurred to me to throw some spinach in there, but I might try that. I also sometimes toss a dollop of yogurt on top (again, not vegan, I guess). My god, I’m hungry.

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  3. Looks great. We do stuff like this a lot at our house.

    One thing I do differently from you is to cook the spices separately in a tablespoon of oil (or more!) and then add them to the lentil pot in the end. Most flavor compounds present in spices are soluble in oil but not in water. So, you get a better, more complex taste when the flavorful oil is added in to the pot, instead of adding powdered spices directly to the pot of lentil broth (which is mostly water).

    We also add tons of spinach/carrots/peas to brown lentils to make it almost like a vegetable stew, which makes for a great one-pot meal.

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    1. @Clarissa
      For googling purposes, it’s these are all the different terms in Indian languages (transliteration is a bear).
      It’s called “tempering” in English and my mother does this for almost every vegetable dish. She usually starts off by tempering spices in the pot, and then she cooks the vegetables.

      Adding it at the end is safer because you don’t have to worry about oil splatters when water hits oil and if it tastes off you haven’t ruined the whole dish. You can’t do this with an oil that has a low smoke point though. Also it’s helpful to have the spices measured out and handy because tempering happens rapidly.

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