Moroccan Puy Lentils
Puy Lentils or French Green Lentils are a type of lentil grown in the thin volcanic soils of the Le Puy region in France. They are small and slate green/grey/blue in colour with a distinctive, rich peppery taste and are available in most healthfood or wholefood stores.
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- 1 cup puy lentils
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 4 shallots, finely sliced
- 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 bunch of spinach leaves, stalks removed & roughly chopped
- 50g fetta cheese, cut into small cubes or crumbled (optional - leave out if lactose intolerant or after a lighter meal)
- lemon wedges
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the lentils in a large saucepan with 3 times their volume of cold water. Add the cinnamon stick and thyme and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 mins, or until lentils are tender. Strain off the water and reserve the lentils (remove the thyme sprigs and cinnamon stick).
In another pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until soft. Turn down the heat to medium and add the cumin, coriander, ginger, paprika, shallots/spring onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomato. Cook until the tomato has softened then add the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt.
Now tip the cooked lentils into the mix and stir well. Turn up the heat a little and cook the mixture for about 5 mins, then remove and stir in the crumbled/cubed fetta (if lactose intolerant or looking for a lighter meal, don't add the fetta). Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary (if you use fetta you will need less salt).
Serve with lemon wedges and eat with flat breads, cous cous, bulgar wheat or quinoa....with a little rocket on the side! Always eat fresh.
Cooking time: Approx 50mins
Serves: 3-4 people
Nadia Marshall is an Ayurvedic Consultant, Cook, Health Writer and Managing Director of the Mudita Institute & Health Clinic near Byron Bay. Their ‘WARMTH’ cookbook is available as a FREE download from their website.