Friday, February 18, 2011

Spicy Timtimo (Red Split Lentils)

As promised, here is another recipe for a great vegan dish - spicy timtimo made with red split lentils. Spicy timtimo is very easy to make and gets its heat from a generous portion of berbere. (See the “about the food” page for info about how to find it).  And like anything with lots of spices, this timtimo will taste even better a day or two after its cooked.

These legume dishes used to really intimidate me because I would be worried about either adding too little or too much water.  But of course when I would ask my mom how much water to add, she would respond "just enough so that its cooked". This is my mom.  She has always tried to rid me of my reliance on precise recipes. 

At the ripe age of 28 (I'm talking last month people), I finally paid attention to how she made timtimo and realized how obvious it was. Once you add the lentils, you add what looks to be a bit more than twice their amount in water and let them cook. As the water cooks down, taste the lentils and if they are still a bit hard, keeping adding small amounts of water. And you just repeat those steps until the lentils are soft and the water is cooked off.

I still did want to present a more precise recipe, for any type A folks out there (don't worry, I'm still in the club). The only difference is that you add all the water at once, which is about 3 to 4 times as much as the amount of dry lentils. Enjoy!

(Oh and the video is coming! I'm sorry for the delay!)

Spicy Timtimo
(Serves 4)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup of dry red split lentils
3-4 cups of water
2-3 heaping tablespoons of berbere (depending on how spicy you want it)
vegetable oil
adobo all purpose seasoning (optional but i don't know how to cook without it anymore)
salt and pepper
  1. Sort through the dry lentils on flat surface, removing any sediment. Rinse and scrub them thoroughly in water several times, until the water runs clear. Set aside
  2. Cook the onions covered over medium heat. Once they soften and lightly brown, add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil and cook for a couple more minutes. Then add the garlic and let it soften.
  3. Stir in the berbere, 3 1/2 cups of water, and the washed lentils. Cook covered over medium-low heat for 30-40  minutes or until the lentils taste like they are done. If the water cooks down and the lentils are still a bit hard, add small amounts of water as needed. Stir periodically to prevent any ingredients from sticking.
  4. Right before the lentils taste like they are finished, add salt, pepper, and adobo all purpose seasoning to taste, and continue to cook covered for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go B. Luvin all da recipies. I luv this one!

    Have you tried this In a wrap? It's Devine.
    You can use a fajita bread or better yet, make a quick tsalta'a kicha ( Eritrean version to fajita/naan), spread the thickened timtimo, couple of sliced tomato, fresh basil leaves, wrap n Go. Mmmmm...