Be Lentil with Me
While Foodgoat will wax lyrical over a plate of lentils, I've always secretly been a little suspicious of them. They seem small and ... beady. Like the shifty eyes of a pickpocket who takes watches off the drunks while pretending to help them into cabs after last call.
Okay, so I'm being too hard on them, since lentils are quite tasty and healthy and cheap and versatile and protein-rich and an all-around food winner. Maybe it's because Esau sold his birthright for a "pottage of lentils." Maybe it's because I never ate them or even heard of them until recently. Maybe it's because I don't know if they grow on trees or underground or what. Maybe because it's traditionally eaten (due to its high nutrition) during times of fasting (lentils ... Lent ... ohhhh).
Mostly, though, I think it's because of the color. The lentils we get at the grocery store are brown. Not luscious, smoky brown like a well-done steak, but dull, dusty, muddy grayish-brown. Don't get me wrong, it tastes delish, especially when prepared with lots of bacon and a big smoked ham hock, but the color is just ... bleah.
That's why I got the yellow lentils, known as toor dal in India, from Urban Herbs. Bright yellow, sunshine yellow, highlighter-fresh-out-the-package yellow. They came in red and green versions too, but yellow is the color of spring, my friends. It tastes quite similar, but somehow I like it much better.