Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Black Beluga Lentil with Tomato, Three Kinds of Kale, and Bok Choy, served with Jade Pearl Rice with Carrot and Onion (No Added Fat)

I have some new clients for whom I provide personal chef services. They have been enjoying the food that I have prepared for them, but asked that I prepare something with less spice and no onion. I decided to try a dish with black beluga lentils. They are easy to cook with a 1:4 ratio lentils to water, pressure cooked for 10m. I made a big batch today of a dish that I thought would work well for them. Here is what I did:

  • 1 1/4 cups black beluga lentils
  • 5 cups (i.e., 4 times as much as lentils) water
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1T miso
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (approx. 1/8") chopped
  • 1 medium tomato cut into 3/8" cubes (approx. 1 1/2 cups); ideally, it should be a green unripe tomato, but the best I could find was one that was barely ripe and showing on maybe 30% of its surface green
  • 6 leaves kale (I used two leaves from each of red, green, and lacinato kale), stems left for compost, and leaves roughly hand torn into small approx. 1/2" squares (compressed, about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 4 stalks bok choy cut into 1/4" cubes (I could have used it all, but ate up the leafy portions to give a consistent white cube)
  • 2T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t salt

  1. I put the lentils, water, bouillon cube, miso, garlic, tomato, and kale into the Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  2. When I was ready to serve, I slowly let out remaining pressure slowly and opened the pot.
  3. I added the bok choy, lemon juice, black pepper, turmeric, and salt, mixed, and served.
I also made some Jade pearl rice, cooked with onion and carrot.


Wow, the lentils (and, as always, Jade pearl rice) were great! It was fun making this dish without onion - the garlic added enough flavor that onion was not needed. In fact, as we were eating, I asked my wife if anything could be changed, and she liked it just the way it was. The lemon added a really nice fresh flavor that reminded me of a Greek or Middle Eastern thick soup, more than of an Indian dish.

Ideas for the future

Maybe a bit of carrot would be good, but I also agree with my wife's assessment that the lentil dish was great as is. I had forgotten but could have used some ginger - that would have been a nice addition. I like the flavor of ginger and its healthfulness; perhaps adding just a bit, 1t or so, of ginger would be good to give a slight flavor. I generally prefer lentils more like a stew, but the liquid in this was just right to me.  A little bit of preserved lemon or lemon zest could be good.

It's easy cooking with black beluga lentils - 1:4, 10m high pressure, and that's it! I should use these lentils more often, perhaps in thicker preparations that are then served within, perhaps, a tortilla roll or atop an uttapam, for example. Yum!

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