These days, I'm still trolling through The Book looking for dishes that I can cook on the weekend that my wife and I can eat for dinner throughout the week. (With a ten-week old baby, we still haven't found the time get back into the routine of weeknight cooking.)
The Book's headnotes for this recipe* includes a little Bible story. Apparently, in the Old Testament, Esau gave up his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup. This dish was good, and all, but I don't think that I'd give up an inheritance for it ... that is, if I had a rich uncle, which I don't think that I do. While the lentil may have strong Hebrew roots, this particular dish is based on an Indian classic called khichri.
First, I sliced up a pound of onions really thin. That's a lot of onions, a lot of slicing, and yes, a lot of tears. I used to think that they were kind of silly, but less than half-way through my slicing, I really wished I had a pair of these onion goggles. The sliced onions went into a cast-iron pan with about two cups of hot oil. I fried the onions in two batches. The first was a little overdone; the second a little underdone. I tossed them all together, seasoned them with some salt and pepper, and believe it or not, the result was fine. They were crispy, and had a niced caramelized flavor. I set them aside until the rest of the dish was finished.
Next, I cooked the lentils by putting them in cold water, bringing them to a boil and then simmering for a little while. Then I drained and rinsed them, and set them aside.
Then I toasted some dry rice in a little oil with some curry power and cayenne pepper. Once it was nice and fragrant, I added some water, brought it to a boil and cooked it until the rice was done.
To finish the dish, I fluffed the cooked rice and stirred in the lentils and plenty of chopped parsley. I topped it off with some of the fried onions and some leftover cooked chicken. (The Book says that this dish is good with lamb, too.)
This was a pretty good dish. The curry flavor was excellent, and the rice and lentils were perfectly cooked. The fried onions were a very nice touch. But this was the first time I've ever deep fried anything, and I've got one question that I haven't been able to find an answer to. What do I do with the used cooking oil? I strained it and put it in a container in my refirgerator. It seems like an awful lot of oil to just pour down the drain (will it clog the pipes?), but I don't know if I can re-use it either. If you've got any insights, put 'em in the comments.
Date Cooked: March 1, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
*This recipe is not on epicurious.com.
2 years ago