Friday, 16 November 2012

Mental About Lentils!

Lenticchie Rosse & Gamberetti "Tandoori" con Zucchine
Tandoori-Spiced Red Lentils & Prawns on Zucchini

Yes, it's true... I do love them! Red, brown, yellow or green- lentils are just wonderful, with a mild, "nutty" flavor that is so adaptable that you can do just about anything with them- what's not to love already? With the lighter, more delicate red lentils, the only fear you must have is of overcooking them... but on the other hand- if you are as impatient as I was this evening when you come to make them, you won't want them to spend too much time in the saucepan- you will them in your plate as soon as possible!

I decided to spice mine up with a little Garam Masala and Tandoori spice this evening, making for a mild but tasty "Indian" touch, and along with the fennel-seed infused zucchini,  definitely a change from the same old same old... and one that I hope you will enjoy!

I started off by boiling the lentils for 5 minutes in lightly salted water, then adding the shrimp continuing to boil for a further 2 minutes and then turning off the heat and allowing them to fluff up and finish cooking in the residual heat in the saucepan. See- no need to worry about overcooking this way!

Whilst the shrimp and lentils were cooking, I sautéed my zucchini slices with a little crushed garlic and a sprinkle of fennel seed, in a pat of clarified butter. It will only take 2-3 minutes and those little seeds will start to pop and to smell and taste delicious! Season with a little sea salt and a tiny pinch of sugar... and set to one side and keep warm until serving.

Next, I sautéed a little finely chopped bacon, green pepper in slices, a little crushed garlic, a little grated ginger, some finely chopped parsley and a little Spring onion, in a little clarified butter. As soon as the bacon began to brown, the onion became translucent and the peppers began to soften, I added the lentils and shrimps and the spices- about a teaspoon each of Garam Masala and of the Tandoori powder... and the smell was immediately wonderful! I seasoned with salt and pepper, added a little cayenne and a squeeze of lime juice and tossed everything together to get all of the flavors combining thoroughly... pretty delicious stuff I have to say!

Once everything was heated through and all of the juices had been absorbed, it was ready to serve on a bed of the zucchini slices, with a last little squeeze of lime and an ultra-fine dusting of Tandoori powder- and that was it! Quick, easy and inexpensive as usual... and terrific-tasting, even if I do say so myself! But give it a go and you might just agree! Enjoy!

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