Curried Lentils with Poached Eggs and Yogurt

This dish is like that high-school friend that hung out with everybody and managed to be loved by all and not get pegged into any particular group. This friendly recipe works equally as wonderfully for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. You can make the lentils ahead of time, then reheat them and poach the eggs right before needing them which makes it a great dish to prepare for guests.

You can use any lentils you like...I happen to think the Lentil du puy (the tiny green ones) work best for salads as they are firmer. The brown ones are my choice here because they are right in between the firm green and the soft red lentils. If you want more of a Dal, use the red ones. Either way, you're going to wonder why you never had poached eggs with lentils before!

Olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
7 cups water
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 cup tomato puree or 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups of chopped greens of your choice… I used rainbow chard. You can skip the greens too, but this is a great way to get them into your diet!
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil into a dutch oven or stockpot and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add chopped carrots, celery, and onion. Saute until the vegetables are just beginning to get tender. Add garlic and curry powder. Continue to saute, stirring, for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add one cup of water to the pot, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom. Then stir in the remaining water, the lentils. Bring to a boil. Once the stew comes to a boil, stir, reduce heat, and simmer for about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Check the lentils for tenderness at about 30 minutes. When they are fairly tender, stir in the tomato puree and the greens . Let simmer until the lentils are tender but not mushy.Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as necessary.

When you are ready to eat them, poach a couple of eggs, and lay them on top of the hot lentils. Dollop some plain yogurt on top and enjoy! You can serve it as is or with toast or tortillas, or pappadums...whatever you like.

Makes enough lentils for 8 servings.