You knew this was coming right. a spicy kung pao sauce and vegetables and lentils!
The whole meal including the brown rice came together in like 40 minutes. The Lentils were put in their saucepan, brown rice in a pressure cooker. then I chopped up veggies, made the sauce, listened to some songs. Then when the lentils were almost done, I heated up the skillet for cooking the vegetables. While the vegetables got cooked, the lentils were ready and the brown rice was off heat and waiting on natural pressure release. Lentils and sauce cooked up for a few minutes then on the table.
Spice from the whole chilies, crunchy red pepper, celery and cashews/peanuts, earthy lentils and brown rice. perfect.
Use pre-cooked lentils, or other cooked beans like green mung beans, use Chickpeas! or seitan or Tofu. Add them at the step to add lentils. Use other vegetables like broccoli, snowpeas, eggplant etc. Double the sauce, add more chilies for more heat! This recipe is inspired my other popular Sweet and sour Lentils with mango.
This recipe is
spicy, sweet and sour
has least processed ingredients
is perfect for weekday meals.
More lentil recipes and asian recipes from the blog.
- 1/2 cup dry brown lentils washed and drained
- 1.5 cups water
- a generous pinch of salt
- 2 to 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dry sherry or rice wine
- 1 tsp hoisin sauce or use more soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 to 3 tsp raw sugar or use 1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener
- a generous dash of lime zest 1/4 tsp
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 1/2 cup chopped white or red onion
- 4 dried red chilies like arbol or red chinese broken into halfs (or use red pepper flakes to taste)
- 3 Tbsp cashews or peanuts
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 inch knob of ginger minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- lemon juice and black pepper for garnish
Cook the Lentils: Combine the lentils water and salt in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender to preference. Let the lentils sit for 5 minutes before using. Drain excess water if needed and keep aside. Or use 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils or beans.
Make the sauce: combine all the ingredients under sauce into a bowl. Mix well to combine and keep aside.
Cook the veggies: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add onion and chilies and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cashews and mix for a few seconds. Add garlic and ginger and mix in. Add the peppers and celery and mix well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add in the sauce and cooked lentils and mix well. Add a few more tbsp water if you like extra sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens and some is absorbed by the lentils. Taste and adjust spice and sweet. Add red pepper flakes to taste, if needed and mix in. Garnish with a dash of lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with cooked rice or grains of choice. .
I used Brown Basmati Rice with the lentils: Make it in pressure cooker. Add 1 cup washed brown rice, scant 1 1/2 cup water, a generous pinch of salt and a few drops of oil to the pressure cooker. Close the lid and cook for over medium high heat until the pressure reaches and then over low-medium heat. total 18 to 19 minutes. (1 whistle and then 13 to 14 minutes over low-medium heat). Let the pressure release naturally.
Nutritional values based on one serving