The recent 90-degree days have made me challenge my habitual need for a soupy lentil stew. As I stared down at my green lentils submerged in water, the thought of hot lentils was fast losing its appeal. But they were in water since the night before and I had to to do something with them. It was then that my mind cast back to my mum’s lentil salad.
They certainly had the texture fit for a salad – tender without being soft and starchy. The best part: NO cooking required. They softened in my sleep – literally. As the lentils lay in water over night, they became hydrated and perfectly edible.
I tossed my lentils with sliced onions, tomatoes, fresh chili and a hit of fresh lemon (I did serve mine garnished with crushed peanuts, but this dish is just as good without them). My lentils couldn’t be more weather-ready and my palate was certainly pleased to receive these cool ingredients with oodles of pop.
Recipe for No Cooking, Fat Free Lentil Salad
1 cup mung-bean lentil (green lentil) – if using red lentils, only soak for 2 hours
5 cups water (for soaking)
2/2 a Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 green chili, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of cilantro with stems, washed and broken in half
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Wash lentils thoroughly, soak over night (about 8 hours). Wash again under running water and drain well
2) Combine with remaining ingredients. Serve chilled
Saira Malhotra, is of British–Indian descent and is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. Raised in Hounslow, U.K, or rather ‘Little India’, where the air is aromatic with roasted spices, little did Saira know these moments would follow her from being a student in France and Italy to residing in NYC with her husband and kids and parlay themselves unexpectedly in to a culinary career. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. Come visit her at her food blog: www.passportpantry.com where she shares approachable and international recipes