Black Lentil Tacos

I've been meaning to do a wrap-up post about the wonderful time that I had at Food Blog Forum, but I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said by the lovely local organizers in their posts: Leah, Lindsay, and Beth. Read all about the great swag we got and the wonderful parties and sponsors. It was truly a fabulous event.

But I will tell you a little about the opening event at the Nashville Farmers Market where local celebrichef, Arnold Myint did a cooking demo for us. He made some wonderful (veg*n and GF) black lentil tacos and a carrot-pumpkin-apple soup (I hope I got that right) that were both delicious and reminiscent of the dishes I've seen on the menu at ChaChah.

And I am not ashamed to admit: I took home the leftovers.

That's right, yours truly, scavenger extraordinnaire stayed late and helped Arnold clean up a bit and claimed my prize in taking home the leftovers (Arnold and I are on the same wavelength here: "Rule of thumb in the kitchen: nothing is wasted" THAT'S RIGHT). Mr. Eats and I ate for three days! First, we had the leftover tacos, then the soup with some grilled cheese sandwiches and lastly, the cooked vegetables destined for soup instead repurposed into a coconut curry (a handful of cashews and a can of chickpeas made it a hearty dish).

I don't have the recipe for the soup (and I'm working on one for the curry), but in the meantime, Arnold appeared on Talk of the Town recently to prepare the tacos. And luckily for me (and you), NewsChannel5 has the clip and the recipe online. I've copied the recipe here, but do yourself a favor and watch the clip to learn a few things in the kitchen (and see what the prepared dish looks like). In particular, I love the term "sweat the onions out." I will be adding that to my vernacular.

I made these for dinner the other night and really enjoyed them. Though not as much as when Arnold made them.

Black Lentil Tacos
Adapted from a recipe by Arnold Myint via NewsChannel5

2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup "cocktail" or "party" peanuts
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons toasted spice blend (recipe follows)
1/2 cup water
3-4 cups of firmly-cooked lentils (do not overcook)
1/2 cup raisins
salt & pepper to taste

Place the diced tomato and onion in a large pan and allow the water to cook down (sweat them out!) over medium high heat. Add oil and the other ingredients in the pan and allow all ingredients to marry and peanuts and raisins to soften. Season  with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat corn tortillas in skillet or toaster oven, add bean mixture, and top with cilantro yogurt and fresh cilanto leaves.

Toasted Spice Mixture:
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Place spices in a skillet over medium heat, stir until spices become toasted and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

Cilantro Yogurt:
1 bunch cilantro (mainly stems)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons plain yogurt

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Remove from the blender, whisk in a mixing bowl,  and season to taste.

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