The inspiration for this recipe came out of very real circumstances: wanting brunch, but having embarrassingly little in my fridge and cupboards. Generally when I find myself in this situation it comes after an evening of merriment, which means a bit of a queasy tummy. And when I think of an ingredient that sits well in my stomach, lentils are one of the first places I turn.
They're a fantastic ingredient to have on hand at all times—they cook quickly and have an earthy taste that can stand up against both richness and spice. And as an added bonus, they're so easy to cook you can even do it with a bit of the morning after fuzzies.
Poached eggs add a restrained richness while ground spices quickly toasted with onions and garlic add some depth. Personally I love de Puy lentils, which are firm and won't fall apart even when fully cooked, but feel free to experiment with your favorite—or whatever you have in your cupboards.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Puy lentils
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- Cilantro, to garnish
- Red pepper flakes, to garnish
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, curry, cinnamon, and dash of cayenne and cook stirring constantly until spices being to smell toasted, about 2 minutes. Add lentils and 3 cups water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until liquid is almost all absorbed and lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Poach eggs according to this method.
Divide lentils between four plates, top each one with a poached egg and garnish with chopped cilantro and a few red pepper flakes. Season eggs with salt and pepper and serve immediately.