Was this lentil stew the "mess of pottage" for which Esau sold his birthright? It is a typical Middle Eastern stew, this time from Lebanese Jews. It is a one-pot meal, a filling everyday entree.
2 cups red lentils
3 cups water
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 pound spinach, trimmed and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Wash the lentils and pick them over to remove any small stones or other impurities.
2. Put lentils in a saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover the pan, and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a 2 quart heatproof casserole or Dutch oven.
4. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and coriander and cook 5 minutes more.
6. Then add the spinach, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
7. Add the potatoes and lentils with their cooking liquid to the saucepan.
8. Bring to a boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 1 hour or until thick.
9. Add the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper just before serving.
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