Sunday, April 7, 2013

Curried Lentil Hash

Curried Lentil Hash
I came up with this as something unusual to put poached eggs on top of.  Hash browns are delicious but can be boring after a while and it's nice to change things out.  Lentils have that nice starchiness that goes well with eggs and invite fresh garden vegetables like carrots and celery to the breakfast table.  

Lentils are great because they are available dried, very inexpensive, and do not require soaking like a lot of dried beans do.  The bag I bought did not specify what color they are, but they look greenish/brownish - lentils also come in yellow, red, and orange, so make breakfast colorful!  I chose chicken stock to cook the lentils in to impart some extra flavor. 

Curried Lentil Hash

1 Cup dried lentils
2 Cups chicken stock or water (20-24 ice cubes, melted)
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup grated carrot (about 3 medium carrots)
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped finely

3 stalks celery, chopped finely
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 egg, beaten


1. First, wash and sort the lentils.  This is very important to make sure there are no rocks or other strange things in your meal.  Yes, my bag did have a rock in it, and I pulled out a dozen or so lentils that looked a bit off.  I don't think lentil sorting is an exact science.

2. Pour the washed lentils into a saucepan and add the chicken stock.  Note, do not add salt!  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer (a few bubbles but not boiling) and cook uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are soft and not crunchy.

3. While the lentils are cooking, saute the vegetables with curry powder, pepper, 1 Tbsp oil, and 1/4 cup of water until onions are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool.

4. Strain lentils through a fine mesh sieve.  I suggest straining them over a bowl because the leftover broth is delicious!  Don't let the strange gray color keep you from trying it!  Stir 1/4 tsp salt into the warm lentils.

5. Mix lentils and veggies together, then stir in flour and egg.  Mash a little.  The process is a lot like hash browns from here on.

6. Heat a frying pan with a little oil and add a layer of lentil mix.  Cook for about five minutes then flip over, in sections, and cook the other side.  Adding more oil will make the edges crispier.

7. Serve with poached eggs and toast.

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