Today’s Tasty Thursday recipe’s key ingredient is lentil. A member of the legume family, it is believed to be one of the first crops domesticated on earth with archeological evidence showing that it was eaten somewhere between 9,000 and 13,000 years ago. It is a menu item in the cuisine of India and other countries in south and west Asia. It can also be found among the dishes served after sundown following the breaking of the fast – referred to as Iftar – during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan which this year comes to a close at the end of July.
Lentils contain protein, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B and minerals. Lentils also are a good source of iron.
The recipe below, published by the Whole Foods Supermarket on their website, calls for nutritious spices such as ginger but also for a jalapeno. Remove the pepper from your shopping list if you’d rather pass on the spicy heat.
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- 2 cups red lentils
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, with their juice
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
Spread lentils out on a sheet tray and pick through to remove any stones or debris. Rinse lentils and drain well.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, cardamom, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, cilantro, turmeric, salt and jalapeno and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer, stirring often, until lentils are soft, about 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Fireworks make you think Fourth of July celebration. It is best, however, to enjoy them from afar. Handling them is not an option, even with caution. In 2012, the last year for which statistics are available, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries; 55% of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the arms and legs and 31% were to the head. Want to play with them? The answer is an NO in any circumstance. Pitch a chair at an outdoor event or watch one of the shows on television.
Here’s what the National Fire Protection Association has to say on the subject.