07/13/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Recipe by Mackenzie Smith

This recipe is originally from Melissa Clark’s book Cook This Now, but it has made its way around the internet and into Kristin Miglore’s first cookbook, Genius Recipes. The crunch of the toasted mustard seed and coconut is the perfect match for the flavorful blend of lentils braised with spices and tomatoes.

Photo by Rick Cortez. Photo by Rick Cortez.

“Toast the lentils first in a melange of seasonings, then in a modest amount of flavorful sauce, so that they have no choice but to plump up with the aggressive flavors all around them.” -Kristin Miglore in Genius Recipes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality Madras curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils
  • 12 ounces ripe, juicy tomatoes, chopped (2 medium, or 2 cups canned plum tomatoes)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons black or brown mustard seeds
  • Salty butter, for serving
  • Plain whole milk yogurt, or serving (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
Photo by Rick Cortez. Photo by Rick Cortez.

1 . Melt the unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, garlic and curry powder. Cook until the mixture is golden and soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and lentils and cook until slightly caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1¾ teaspoons salt. Add enough water to cover the mixture by ½ inch. Bring the liquid to a boil over high-heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 25 to 40 minutes. If the lentils begin to look dry while cooking, add more water as needed.

2. In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coconut flakes, mustard seeds, and a large pink of salt until the coconut is golden, about 3 minutes.

3. To serve, spoon the lentils into individual bowls. Drop about 2 teaspoons salted butter into each dish. Top with Yogurt, cilantro, and the coconut mixture. Serve immediately.

Photo by Rick Cortez. Photo by Rick Cortez.