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Vegetarian Moroccan Lentils

What You'll Need:

2 cups brown or green lentils
2 or 3 large, ripe tomatoes,
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
4 tablespoons chopped fresh
parsley and cilantro
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional: cayenne pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

How to Make It:

Mix all ingredients in a pressure cooker or heavy-bottomed pot. Add 2 liters (about 2 quarts) of water, and bring to a simmer.

Follow one of the methods below.

Pressure cooker method. Cover, and cook on pressure over medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the lentils are still submerged in sauce, you must reduce the liquids so that the sauce is ample, but not watery. Adjust the seasoning if desired, and serve.

Pot method. Cover, and simmer the lentils over medium heat about 1 1/2 hours, or until the lentils are tender and the sauce is not watery. (If the liquids reduce too much during cooking, add a little water to prevent the lentils from burning.) Adjust the seasoning if desired, and serve.

You can serve the lentils in individual bowls or on plates, but when offering the lentils as a main course, Moroccan tradition is to serve them on a communal platter, with each diner eating from his side of the dish.

Crusty bread such as Moroccan khobz is traditionally used to scoop up the lentils and sauce, but go ahead and eat with a spoon if you prefer.
Some of the olive oil can be replaced with vegetable oil; this is the habit of some Moroccan cooks as a matter of frugality or because their olive oil is extra virgin and a little goes a long way in terms of flavor.
We sometimes add a little swirl of extra virgin olive oil to the lentils at the end of cooking; try it, it's good!
The lentils will absorb some of the sauce the longer they sit; if making in advance, allow for this or plan to add a little water (not much) when reheating.
To reheat leftover lentils, heat gently in a heavy-bottomed pot or skillet, stirring from time to time to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)Calories 288
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 791 mg
Carbohydrates 53 g
Dietary Fiber 9 g
Protein 18 g

(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)

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