Cucumber Cooked with Lentils

July 10, 2009

Cucumber Cooked with Lentils

From: Madhur Jaffrey, 1995, Flavors of India, Carol Southern Books: NY, p. 34

1/3 cup red lentils
1 ¼ cup coconut milk, well-stirred, from a can or fresh
1 lb cucumber, cut crossways into 1 inch pieces
4 fresh hot green chillies, cut in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt
8-10 fresh curry leaves, if available
1 tablespoon coconut oil or any other vegetable oil

Wash the lentils in several changes of water, until the water runs clear.  Then soak them in enough hot water to cover by 1 ½ in for 3-4 hours. Drain.

Put ½ cup of the coconut milk and 1 ½ cup of water in a medium-sized pan. Add the lentils.  Bring to boil. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add the cucumber, chillies and salt. Cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the cucumber is tender.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the curry leaves. Stir once or twice and then empty the contents of the small pan, oil and leaves, into the pan with the lentils and the cucumber.  Add the remaining coconut milk to the cucumber and lentil mixture. Stir and cook on a higher heat for 3-4 minutes until the sauce is medium-thick.

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