Thursday, March 3, 2011

Colombia: Lentils with Guiso and Egg

Often, when I ask HubbyGrouch what he would like to eat, he requests a Colombian dish. That's the cuisine of his childhood. Don't we all know that warm feeling we get when remembering childhood dishes? I didn't know much about Colombian cooking before I met HubbyGrouch, but since then I discovered several dishes I like a lot. His mother makes great empanadas, cow tongue (something I wouldn't touch before), and Sobrebarriga, to name just a few. For today we picked this lentil dish, which actually came pretty close to that which HubbyGrouch knew from his mother. The guiso is used in other Colombian dishes too, and gives this one the typical flavor.

2 cups dried lentils
1/4 of a red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
vegetable bouillon cubes (for 1 quart water)
1 tsp turmeric

3 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 medium onion, cut into 2 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch (6-8) scallions
2 sweet green peppers (aji dulce), seeded
1 celery stalk, roughly cut up
1/4 of a red bell pepper
1/4 of a green bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt

4 large eggs
cooked rice for serving

Bring lentils with 4 cups of water, red pepper, bouillon cubes and turmeric to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the guiso. Put all ingredients for the guiso in a food processor and process for 1 minute. After 25 minutes, add the guiso to the lentils and simmer for another 40-45 minutes, until lentils are soft but don't lose their shape. Taste for salt and serve with rice and a fried egg.

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