i don’t know if it’s all this mercury in retrograde biz or what, but i can’t seem to bring my thoughts to the earthly plane. i’m all abstract all the time. i’ve felt as if i’m incapable of having shallow (read: normal, mundane) conversations. smiling and small-talking — the expected but unmeaning performative acts — feel absurd, and my fuck-this reflex* is in acute hyperwhoa mode. i don’t feel down or sad. i feel a queer combination of far away and claustrophobic. like i’m lost in a vast and disgusting ball pit of my own deconstructionist thoughts. i suppose that sounds drab but i’m still awake and on. maybe i’ll emerge polished and new like a tumbled stone or maybe i’ll realize i’m not lost; only living, and start building ball castles and making rogue french fry friends. hm.
despite my disengagement with mundane topics of thought, i manage to stay grounded enough to enjoy earthly things with the senses. the warmth of a mug of green tea in cold hands. the smell of vegetable sugars caramelizing in the oven. the coziness and comfort of a long and languid hug. the sights and tastes of cooking and sharing a meal prepared with love; i enjoy these things with all my guts. still, when i tell you from my current brainspace about how delicious and special and easy and cilantro-y and rich and smooth and perfectly-spiced these lentils were it might just come out weird and maybe super awkward. but i’m okay with that. make some lentils. i’ll make some too. we’ll cheers our spoons. we’ll eat the lentils. we’ll live and love under any sky.
- 2 cups dry red lentils
- 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1.5 tsp cumin seed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tbsp ground coriander seed
- 1 tsp ground cumin seed
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes or 1-2 hot chiles, minced
- ½ can full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- salt to taste (1-2 tsp)
- splash of lime juice
- soak lentils in clean water for about two hours or overnight, if it's convenient. after they're soaked, drain, rinse, and set aside.
- add coconut oil and garlic to a large pot and heat to medium-high. the garlic will gently warm through and brown--be careful not to let it get burnt and harsh-smelling. when it's beginning to crisp up, add the whole cumin seeds and let sizzle for thirty seconds or so until toasty and fragrant. add the diced onion, stir, and cook for five minutes or so until translucent. add the ground spices and pepper flakes/hot pepper and allow them to get hot and fragrant.
- add the drained lentils to the pot along with about 6 cups of water to start, adding more to suit your preference for consistency. bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about twenty minutes.
- after simmering the lentils should be soft and beginning to break down. add coconut milk and let cook over low heat for another ten minutes. add cilantro, nutritional yeast, salt to taste, and a big splash of lime juice. let cool slightly then serve over rice, with naan, or with bowl and spoon. enjoy.
the nutritional yeast might seem out of place here, but i love the complex savory tang it adds. with coconut milk? ohohohoh man. if you don't have nooch in your pantry, though, just skip it. still delicious.
*refers to the phenomenon of reacting to a lame, annoying, offensive, or otherwise undesirable stimuli with NOPE BYE and undertones of “seriously why the”