Lentils with Onion & Watercress






I made this lentil dish for Cooper way back in June last year. Unfortunately, he was going through a suspicious phase, so he wasn't much interested, but I really enjoyed it. Graham and I have had it a couple of times since with extra spice added. It really is a great family dish and so healthy. I am planning to cook it for Cooper again soon, I think he would be more willing to try it now.

If you are weaning your baby, you could try the lentils with some spinach whizzed in. Make sure it is nice and smooth. Don't add salt and go easy on the black pepper as it can be quite harsh, but you could add a little grated nutmeg. I liked to add a little spice to Cooper's dishes when he was a baby, so he would get used to the flavours.

If you are making this for a toddler, you could add a little spice, just a pinch of each, but leave out the chilli powder.

If you are cooking this for adults, add the optional spices I have suggested.

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Lentils with Onions & Watercress
Written by with kind permission.



Originally published in River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Nikki Duffy.
Originally posted on Tinned Tomatoes

February 9, 2012


A dal that is just gorgeous layered up. Rice, the dal, then watercress or baby spinach, finished off with a layer of carmelised onions. Make the dal mild for babies and toddlers, but add some spices for adults.
Ingredients
  • 100g/ ½ cup red lentils
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 - 250g watercress or baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • a good grinding of freshly ground back pepper
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • a pinch of chilli powder (optional)
Instructions
1. Put the lentils and chopped garlic in a saucepan with 400ml/2 cups water. Bring to the boil, turn down to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, until the mixture is thick and the lentils are starting to break down, adding a little more water if necessary. If you are adding spices, add them at the start of the cooking process.2. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil, drop in the watercress and cook for a minute or so, just until it's completely wilted. Drain and leave to cool in a colander. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out all the water, then chop fairly finely. (I like to put the watercress or spinach in a colander and a kettleful of boiling water over them. Which wilts the leaves perfectly)3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion fry for about 10 minutes, stirring often and keeping the heat at medium. The idea is to get the onion to start to caramelise and brown just a little.4. Combine the cooked lentils with the chopped watercress and cooked onion. Season and serve hot with rice or naan bread.
Details
Total time: Yield: 3-4 adults servings or 4-6 toddler servings


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