The experts will tell you that babies don't like spicy foods, so pregnant women are encouraged to avoid spicy foods, breastfeeding moms are warned to avoid garlic like the plague and moms of toddlers are told to prepare spice-less versions of the food they're eating for their young 'uns.
Pffft. It's clear these so-called experts haven't met our godson, 8 month-old B. Or perhaps he just didn't get the memo that he was supposed to shun all things spicy. Because when we baby-sat him earlier this week I had to stop him or he would've slurped up my entire bowl of Mesir Wat. In fact, when I made an attempt to extricate the bowl from his
I'm submitting this bowl of Ethiopian lentils to Regional Recipes, hosted by Joanne of Eats Well With Others, because, well, the theme for July happens to be Ethiopia. That girl's really got my back, because besides being spicy and mostly good-for-you, most Ethiopian dishes are also brilliantly frugal. Which, if you are a diligent reader, you'll remember is one of my goals for the next few months.
This lentil stew seems plain and (dare I say it?) boring at first sight, but as always, the added spices work their magic. This is somewhat similar to that stalwart of Indian cooking - dhal - yet decidedly different. The flavour is more subtle and if you're a bit shy to try exotic foods, this is a perfect gateway dish. Also, if you haven't tried Ethiopian food before, I strongly encourage you to give it a go. I think you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
(To my Western Cape readers, if you can't be fussed to make your own Ethiopian food, I strongly recommend Addis in Cape. Their set menu is incredibly good value for money I find the coffee & popcorn after-meal ritual quite charming)
Adapted from Ethiopian Recipes
Serves 6 - 8
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp smoky paprika
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
500g red lentils
5 cups water
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add the onions and saute until soft and glazed looking.
2. Add tomato paste, paprika, garlic, ginger, pepper and salt and fry another minute to release the fragrances, then add 1 cup water and bring to the boil, cooking for another 2 - 3 minutes.
3. Add lentils, along with rest of water, bring to the boil, then turn down heat, cover and cook for another 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Serve warm with injera or flatbread of your choice.
Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 130.1, Total fat 2.4g, Saturated fat 0.3 g, Polyunsaturated fat 1.5 g, Monounsaturated fat 0.5 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 441.7 mg, Potassium 481.5 mg, Total carbohydrate 21.2 g, Dietary fiber 7.2 g, Sugars 1.7 g, Protein 7.6 g
Good source of: Folate 34.9 %, Manganese 26.9 %, Iron 16.8 %