Farmshare Day 2: Quick Lentils, Potatoes, and Spinach with Curried Tarka

Richly spiced, hearty lentils and a leafy promise of Spring make a dish that smells as good as it tastes.  A tarka is a delectable combination of fat and spices, added to the lentils just before serving.  Divine.  

I use olive oil in just about anything because it’s unequivocally a healthy fat, but you may wish to use vegetable oil or butter or ghee if you don’t like the olive oil flavor.

I had no cooked grains around and didn’t have time to wait to cook them, so I made this whole wheat/flaxseed flatbread with onion and cumin seeds to accompany our meal.  It had a nice onion kulcha effect. 

When I perfect the recipe, I’ll pass it on. In the meantime, try my Chickpea-Flax Skillet Flatbread.

I’m having so much fun with my Winter farmshare!  

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 with rice or flatbread

1 onion, diced
2 T vegetable oil or olive oil or, if you’re feeling daring, ghee
2 potatoes, diced
1 c lentils, yellow or brown
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 handful baby spinach
1/2 c milk, cream, coconut milk, soy milk, or soy creamer, or more to taste.  Yogurt might work here too.

1 T curry powder
2 T butter, ghee, vegetable oil, olive oil, or “good fat” margarine like benecol or smart balance
zest of one lemon
1 pinch salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sweat the onions and a pinch of salt for 3-5 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop and add the potatoes.
2. Add the lentils and stir.  Add the stock or water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat.  Simmer until lentils are just tender.  This can take as little as 10 minutes for yellow lentils and 20-30 minutes for brown lentils.  Add liquid if necessary.
3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter/ghee/margarine or heat the oil until shimmering.  Stir in the lemon zest.  When fragrant, add the curry powder and a pinch of salt.  Stir, then turn off the heat.
4. Stir the tarka into the lentils.  Turn off the heat.  Add the spinach and stir in — it will wilt on contact.  Stir in about half of your milk of choice for richness.  Spoon into bowls, drizzle with additional “milk,” and serve.