Since 2016 has been declared the “year of the pulse” by the United Nations, I have decided to start posting more recipes with these versatile, highly nutritious little powerhouses. There are so many cultures where lentils are part of the basic diet that I am inspired to share some of their recipes with you. I also love the fact that lentils can be part of a savory or sweet dish.
Brunch is a meal that is very popular in North America but does not have the same caché in other parts of the world. This Spicy North African lentil and egg dish is great for brunch but is also a great recipe to share for a casual lunch or a meatless Monday dinner. Having used two different kinds of pulses, lentils and split green peas, the base of this egg dish has a bit of crunch from the peas mixed with the mush of the red lentils. Arugula and a fried or poached egg on top finishes of this dish beautifully.
I used this recipe in a #loveLentils competition put on by the Canadian Lentil producers. I had a blast filming the 2 minute demo video, using my iphone, as well as sharing my recipes and my secrets as to why I love these multi coloured little gems. This spicy lentil recipe is one of two that I shared. I always like to offer alternatives to recipes, in case there are any leftovers. This time, I had leftover roasted butternut, in the fridge, that I reinvented into a Butternut Lentil Hummus, using the spicy lentils.
Watch for that recipe, coming up soon!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ cup minced onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1cup red lentils
- 1 cup green split peas
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (more if needed)
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablesppons chopped fresh cilantro
- bunch of arugula
- 4 fried eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon sumac
- Rinse lentils and peas in a colander under running water, removing all impurities, and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat up oil then add onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until the mixture is beginning to brown. Stir in cumin and coriander followed by the lentils and split peas.
- Cook for a minute while constantly stirring the pulse mixture.10Add the stock and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the red lentils can be mashed with a fork and the split peas are still firm.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in the harissa paste, lemon juice and cilantro.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Fry or poach 4 eggs.
- Divide lentil mixture between four plates.
- Mound a bit of arugula on the lentils then place the egg on top of the arugula. Sprinkle a little sumac over each egg and serve with some warm flatbreads or pita.
Hint: Make your own vegetable stock with vegetable peelings and off-cuts that are saved in a bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, place bag contents into a pot, fill with water and some peppercorns and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain liquid and use as stock. Compost the items from the strainer.