Lentil Pâté With Cumin and Turmeric
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMANLentils and curry flavors go together beautifully. This pâté tends to be dry if you overcook it, so remove it from the oven when it’s just set, before the top cracks.
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 quart water
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 2 minced
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
1. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan with the water and bay leaf. Cut the onion in half, and add one half to the pot along with the crushed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 35 to 45 minutes until the lentils are tender. Remove the onion half, and taste and adjust seasoning. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter or oil a 5-cup paté tureen or baking dish, or bread pan. Finely chop the other half of the onion. Heat the peanut or canola oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Stir in the garlic and spices, and cook, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant and the spices are sizzling, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, and continue to stir over medium heat until it has darkened, one to two minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Remove from the heat.
3. Place the lentils and eggs in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Turn it on, add the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the onion mixture, and pulse to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Scrape into the prepared baking dish and cover tightly.
4. Bake for 40 minutes until just set. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. For best results, refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10.
Advance preparation: This keeps for about five days in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information per serving (eight servings): 168 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 47 milligrams cholesterol; 16 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 26 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 8 grams protein
Nutritional information per serving (10 servings): 135 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 37 milligrams cholesterol; 13 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 21 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 7 grams protein