Friday, February 5, 2010

Farmshare Day 2: Quick Lentils, Potatoes, and Spinach with Curried Tarka

Richly spiced, hearty lentils and a leafy promise of Spring make a dish that smells as good as it tastes.  A tarka is a delectable combination of fat and spices, added to the lentils just before serving.  Divine.  

I use olive oil in just about anything because it's unequivocally a healthy fat, but you may wish to use vegetable oil or butter or ghee if you don't like the olive oil flavor.

I had no cooked grains around and didn't have time to wait to cook them, so I made this whole wheat/flaxseed flatbread with onion and cumin seeds to accompany our meal.  It had a nice onion kulcha effect. 

When I perfect the recipe, I'll pass it on. In the meantime, try my Chickpea-Flax Skillet Flatbread.

I'm having so much fun with my Winter farmshare!  

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 with rice or flatbread

1 onion, diced
2 T vegetable oil or olive oil or, if you're feeling daring, ghee
2 potatoes, diced
1 c lentils, yellow or brown
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 handful baby spinach
1/2 c milk, cream, coconut milk, soy milk, or soy creamer, or more to taste.  Yogurt might work here too.

1 T curry powder
2 T butter, ghee, vegetable oil, olive oil, or "good fat" margarine like benecol or smart balance
zest of one lemon
1 pinch salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sweat the onions and a pinch of salt for 3-5 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop and add the potatoes.
2. Add the lentils and stir.  Add the stock or water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat.  Simmer until lentils are just tender.  This can take as little as 10 minutes for yellow lentils and 20-30 minutes for brown lentils.  Add liquid if necessary.
3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter/ghee/margarine or heat the oil until shimmering.  Stir in the lemon zest.  When fragrant, add the curry powder and a pinch of salt.  Stir, then turn off the heat.
4. Stir the tarka into the lentils.  Turn off the heat.  Add the spinach and stir in -- it will wilt on contact.  Stir in about half of your milk of choice for richness.  Spoon into bowls, drizzle with additional "milk," and serve.


  1. oh wow this looks amazing like dal and love the flatbread

  2. Thanks, Rebecca! Yes, like Dal -- but with the extra body of a potato and the added health benefits of spinach, plus a pretty peek of green!