Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Couscous and Lentil Pilaf

My love for French green lentils continues. This time it is being paired with couscous for a warm pilaf, spiced with a couple of my favorite spices - fennel and cumin. There is a hint of heat from the chili flakes and richness from the beautifully caramelized onions. I could eat it just by itself, but it would be a wonderful accompaniment for some roasted root vegetables for the meat lover some grilled lamb chops.

Couscous and French green lentil pilaf

1 cup couscous (preferably a good quality couscous like Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/2 cup French green lentils or puy lentils
1 1/2 cups red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fresh red chili, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Place the lentils and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan and add enough water so that it is about 2 inches above the lentils. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer - it takes about 35 minutes to cook. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Heat a 10 inch heavy bottomed skillet with olive oil over medium high heat. Add the cumin, fennel and chili flakes and saute for 30 seconds. Add the sliced onion and saute the onion for 7 minutes till the onions are a deep golden brown. Add the fresh red chili and the cooked green lentils and cook for a couple of minutes to meld all the flavors together. Remove from the heat.
  3. In the meantime keep a kettle of boiling water ready for the couscous. Add 1 cup boiling water to the lentil and onion mixture and stir in the 1/2 teaspoon salt and couscous slowly. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and fluff up the mixture with a fork and serve.
Serves 3 to 4.

Note: This recipe is being submitted for Veggie Platters legume affair  and the list of hosts for this event are on Susan's blog. 

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