Lentil Okra Masala
The semester is back in full swing. Remember that scene in You’ve Got Mail when Tom Hanks comments how wonderful the fall is, swooning Meg Ryan with the offer to send her a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils? 1-800-FLOWERS should definitely get their hands on that. There really is nothing like a delivery of school supplies. The sweet smell of shaved wood and pink rubber erasers.
Being a student for the first time in 3.5 years definitely has its challenges. Some mornings I wake up ready to walk past Hendrick’s Chapel on the Syracuse quad or have the urge to take a study break down to M-Street. I scour AIM for friends to distract me. Lucky for them they deleted AIM when they put away their graduation caps. I sit and ponder new ways to redecorate our apartment or update my wardrobe now that I am making a paycheck. There’s even an Urban Outfitters down the street. Have mercy.
My favorite form of distraction over the past year, while Z was mulling over his books, was cooking. Great, extravagant recipes on a Tuesday night! But if I did that tonight I would have to stay up way past my bedtime working and not have a chance to watch last week’s Mad Men. And Z would give me the death glare when I complain that I still have so much work to do after an hour at the stove. So while cooking is still my favorite hobby, my menus are becoming quicker.
Last nights dinner was perfect for one of those “I have so much work to do!” nights. Literally adding ingredients to a pot, letting it cook for 25 minutes, adding a few more things, and eating. I was at the stove for a total of 5 minutes. But it sure didn’t taste like it. The dish was warm and sinfully comforting, calling for a cozy sweater and a fireplace or a middle schooler who just returned from a late fall soccer practice. The spices muddle beautifully with the rich lentils, and the okra adds pop and texture.
Lentil and Okra Masala (Adapted from Veggie by Season)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry lentils
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lb okra, chopped
Plain yogurt to serve
In a pot, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the lentils and stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat. Cook for 25 minutes or until lentils are soft and liquid has absorbed.
Add the tomato sauce, spices, and okra. Adjust spices to your liking.
Serve topped with plain yogurt, and naan if you like!
A simple, filling, gorgeous one-dish meal that would look beautiful next to my bouquet of #2s.