Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crock Pot Lentils (Sambhar)

There is nothing like piping hot lentils on a chilly fall day. The first time I made this for my husband he was outside raking leaves. Being from a tropical climate the Northeastern winters really get to him. I think he ate the whole pot! I`ve since adapted it to western cooking, ie a crockpot. Since I am not handy at all with my poor abused pressure cooker.

Thanks to Regina for her post on lentils. It reminded me of one of our favorites.

Crockpot Lentils

1 cup of yellow lentils
2 cups of water (make sure lentils are properly covered with the water)
2 teaspons of tumeric

Let the lentils cook on low for an hour or more (just add water if you need to).

1 onion chopped
3 or 4 roma tomatoes or 2 regular tomatoes
1 chopped potato

8 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon shatki shambar or chicken masala (I am partial to the chicken). I get them at the Indian grocers, but I have substitued Cajun seasoning :)
1 tablespoon oil

Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves to the oil. Fry until the seeds pop. Add the onions and masala (or cajun seasoning). Cook until the onions are nice and golden then add the tomatoes. Cook for a minute or two and transfer to the crockpot. Cover with another 2 cups of water. (If you are going for a souper consistancy add 3 cups, I like mine kind of thick.)

About an hour before you are ready to eat I add frozen veggies. Either a mixed variety or my favorite are corn, peas, and carrots. Traditionally, sambhar has egg plant but none of my family likes eggplant. You can chop and fry it up with your potatoes if you prefer.

I let this cook until we are ready for dinner. And, the potatoes are nice and done. Sometimes I just set the crockpot on warm to keep it hot. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice. Or, just eat as a soup!