I know, I know – I need to get my camera out and start doing proper photos! I’ve been doing a lot of work this week though so just haven’t had the time to get all the stuff I need to do done and that includes sorting out my camera plus a bunch of recipes that need writing up.
Due to work taking over a bit, we’ve resorted to using up a bunch of freezer meals that were in fact put there for this very reason. I have, in the past, been really bad at labelling the stuff in the freezer. I’ve recently got much better at it. We are trying to get through the “freezer surprise” dishes first, defrosting two days at a time just in case one of the meals turns out to be dog food! Today’s freezer surprise was a Thai style red chicken curry – I have no clue how I made it now!
But curry calls for rice and Nigel can’t eat rice – too carby. I often do something like this dish as a kind of risotto but felt that parmesan cheese and curry were not exactly ideal bed fellows so here we are with white lentil fried rice. It really did taste like fried rice too.
White lentils are actually black lentils without the skin and they are quite a robust texture compared to red or brown lentils. For best results, and unlike other types of lentil, they should be soaked overnight before boiling. I think you could probably avoid that if you cooked them in a pressure cooker but mine is in the back of the garage somewhere gathering dust so I went with soaking. I hadn’t thought it through until this morning though so mine were only soaked for about 6 hours but it seemed to do the trick.
You could, of course, make this vegan by using vegetable bouillon in place of the chicken. It needs common or garden vegetable oil too – olive oil doesn’t work well in stir fry.
1 cup of dried white lentils (soak overnight)
1 large courgette, halved lengthways and sliced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
- Drain the lentils and pour into a medium sized lidded pan of boiling water – don’t salt the water though or the lentils will be tough, you need about twice as much water by volume as lentils
- Bring back to the boil, reduce to a good simmer, with the lid on for around 30 minutes
- Put the teaspoon of oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat and brown off the courgette for about four minutes on either side
- Reduce the heat right down and add in the peas and soy sauce and stir through until the peas are thoroughly defrosted
- After thirty minutes the lentils should be quite tender but not mushy
- Add the bouillon powder to the lentils in the water and stir to make sure it has thoroughly dissolved and then continue to cook for another five minutes. Bouillon is generally quite salty so don’t add it too early.
- Drain the lentils and then tip them into the frying pan with the remaining oil and the spring onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes when they will be ready to serve.