As you may have noticed on my Facebook page, I’m entering my very first recipe competition!
When I heard about the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge, I immediately thought of the bag of green lentils sitting in my pantry. I’d been wondering what to do with them. So I started investigating, and it turns out there are countless ways to use lentils in all sorts of dishes.
For example, The Recipe Rebel put them in a nanaimo cake. Olena at ifoodreal put them in a Sante Fe casserole. And me, well… I’m using them in a traditional way. But the recipe is so delicious and so easy!
I think the idea of a recipe competition for an organization like Canadian Lentils is a terrific idea. Case in point – before embarking on my submission to the competition, I had no idea what to do with lentils. I don’t even know why they were sitting in my pantry! But now I’ve been exposed to dozens of different ways to use them. They’re very versatile!
I don’t have a ton of experience with Indian food, but I do make a mean butter chicken dish and I love to go out for Indian. In my limited experience, I’d say this dish is most similar to a dahl or dhansak. It’s best served with fresh naan bread. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I made naan for the first time from scratch for this recipe, but you’ll have to come back next week for that recipe 🙂
For my vegetarian friends out there, don’t worry – you can totally make this without the chicken and it would be just as good!
I hope I win the competition! I love this dish and have been eating it all week for lunch. Cross your fingers for me and leave some comments!
Heat a large, deep frying pan with 2 tbsps of canola oil. Cut the chicken thighs into quarters. When the oil is hot, place the chicken in the frying pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. When browned on one side, flip the chicken and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Continue frying the chicken until browned, and then remove from the frying pan to a plate. The chicken doesn't have to be entirely cooked through, just browned.
Finely chop the onions and set aside. Heat remaining 2 tbsps of canola oil in the same big frying pan. Add garam masala, cumin and a bit of salt and stir for a few seconds. Add onions, jalapeño, ginger and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent and browned.
Cut the carrots into 1/2-inch chunks. If you use baby carrots, just cut them in half. Add them to the pan with the lentils and stir to coat. Stir in four cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then add the chicken. Cover the frying pan and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with naan.