Turkish Lentils with Lamb and Carrots is a spicy dish with delicious green lentils and bits of lamb. Or, leave the lamb out and make it vegan. It’s so scrumptious.
Green lentils are the best ones to use in Turkish Lentils with Lamb. They hold their shape and don’t get mushy. I had some lamb bones that still had quite a bit of meat on them, so I boiled the bones in 3 cups of water, then stripped the bones of the meat, cutting it into small pieces, and cooked the lentils in the resulting broth. If you use vegetarian broth and leave out the lamb, this is a vegan/vegetarian recipe.
This Mediterranean recipe is flavored with diced carrots, caramelized onions, lamb, cayenne, and garlic (of course). It only takes 45 minutes, and most of the time spent making it is waiting for the lentils to cook. The prep is simple—slice some onions and peel and dice a few carrots. Then sauté them, add the lentils and put the remaining ingredients in.
Cooking the onions and carrots in a little oil before mixing them with the lamb and lentils really makes the dish stand out. It caramelizes these two vegetables and brings out the sweetness. There’s a special name for this chemical reaction: Maillard reaction.
I found a similar recipe in Vegetarian Light recipe and modified it a bit because I had some left-over lamb. It is quite spicy so if you don’t like that, I suggest you cut the cayenne in half.
What You Need
For this recipe you need measuring cups and spoons, knives, cutting board, vegetable peeler and a good pot, but don’t just buy one pot. Buy the whole set.
Turkish Lentils with Lamb and Carrots Recipe
Turkish Lentils with Lamb and Carrots
A spicy dish with a Turkish/Mediterranean flair
- 1 cup green lentils
- 3 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (peeled and sliced very thin)
- 4 large carrots (peeled and diced)
- 1 cup fresh spinach (or kale or collard greens, chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if you don't like spicy)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup bits of lamb (optional)
- Add the lentils to the broth (or water) and bring to a boil.
- Immediately turn the temperature down to medium low and continue to cook the lentils for about 1/2 an hour until crisp tender (but not mushy).
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet.
- Add the sliced onions and carrots.
Cook these vegetables until the onion is carmelized (browned) and the carrots are still crisp tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and spices and cook for another minute or two to release flavors.
- Drain the cooked lentils.
- Add the lamb (if using) and lentils to the skillet, along with the spinach.
- Stir to combine.
- Cook for another 5 minutes or so to marry the flavors.
Serve with brown rice, quinoa or pasta, and some fruit.
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Recipe Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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