Friday, March 20, 2015

Black lentils: the healthy side and an easy recipe

I am very clumsy with lentils and till the last year I hardly had too many encouters with them. I loved to admire their colour and texture but hardly had any idea how to prepare them and not memory of taste hence, the impossibility to imagine how the tastes can match. However, courageous as I am, I tried little by little to expand my senses, and dared to cook simple lentils recipes, usually added with some olive oil and sour cream or yoghurt. 
The best of lentils were the black ones tasted for two years in a row at my breakfast in Tel Aviv a couple of months ago: simple cold black lentils, with olive oils and sour cream, plus a lazy Jerusalem artichoke. Once returned back home, I longed for recrating if not the same sunny experience near Gordon beach, at least the beautiful taste. 
I bought from an Allnatura shop some black lentils called Beluga, inspired by their physical ressemblance with the caviar. They are small, black and round and need some extra time - around 15 minutes of boiling - till they are ready. Originally from South Asia, the black lentils have a mild eartly flavor, a soft texture and are high-fiber and protein rich. They contain: potassium, Vitamin B1, copper, manganese and phosphorus. Compared to other types of lentils - till now, I only tried the orange red ones and this is true - the experts say, the black ones remain intact after boiling. They are good served  both cold and hot.

For the preparation of the lentils, I went through the following steps:
- Cleaned the beans in cold water for a couple of minutes. Although the product was bought from a respectable bio shop, still doing some safety cleaning is a good idea.
- Once in and boiling, the water is getting black. The first time was thinking at some very artificial colours that maybe were added, but ended up believing the experienced black lentils experts and assumed that in fact there are some natural colours instead.
- I boiled for around 15-20 minutes, but it can last for around 30-40 minutes, without any risk. 

For the recipe:
- 1 cup of hard boiled black lentils
- 7 small cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 middle size onion, finelly chopped

After the first 15 minutes of boiling, I added the other ingredients and some extra pinch of kosher salt. 
I regularly simmer doing boiling and if needed, added some extra water.
Once the water got out, I put to rest in a bowl, and also added some 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, plus some fresh sour cream.
The preparation time is of around 40 minutes. 
This recipe serves two and it can be tasted either as a side dish, maybe with some meat or some fried veggies, or like a healthy individual dish in the morning or in the evening.

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